Toronto Raptors: Skip the Trip to Apartheid Israel

Tell the Toronto Raptors: Don’t celebrate your historic NBA win by becoming ambassadors to sports-wash occupation, apartheid, and war crimes.

Prior to winning the 2019 NBA title, Raptor's billionaire co-owner Larry Tanenbaum told the team if they won he would take them on a trip to Israel. Traveling to Israel on such a trip would help cover up (sports-wash) Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people. Sign our letter to the Raptors’ players asking them to heed the Palestinian call for boycott — including a sports and cultural boycott — and reject the trip.


Dear Raptors players,

As sports fans and human rights supporters, we appeal to you to decline to travel to Israel as part of a propaganda trip that would serve to cover up (sports-wash) the daily nightmares of siege, occupation, and apartheid that Palestinians live under.

Since 1967, Israel has been holding Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza under military occupation and in a system of apartheid. Palestinians are subject to a web of checkpoints, they endure home demolitions, land confiscations, closed military zones, and a separate and unequal system of military laws and courts. Palestinians are subjected to inadequate access to water and other resources, separate roads and walkways, and a separation wall that snakes throughout the West Bank, preventing Palestinians from accessing their crops. Under military law it is illegal for Palestinians to participate in protest of their circumstances and military courts have an over 99% conviction rate. Children as young as 12 are detained, abuses, and tried in the only juvenile military court in the world.

In Gaza, Palestinians live under a crippling siege, often referred to as the largest open-air prison on earth. 97% of the water in Gaza is unfit for consumption. Medical supplies and sufficient food cannot get in. Unemployment is 52% (70% for youth) and the densely populated strip is often bombed. The United Nations says that since March 2018, Israel has likely been committing war crimes by shooting Palestinian citizens, children, journalists, medics, and the disabled.

Inside Israel, Palestinian citizens face discrimination in housing, resources, and more. In 2005 Palestinian civil society put out a call for boycott — including academic, cultural and sports — and divestment from Israel until such a time as Israel ends its occupation and colonization of the West Bank and its siege of Gaza, dismantles the Apartheid system of racial discrimination and segregation for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and recognizes the Right of Return of over 5 million Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN resolution 194.

Around the world, poor and oppressed people embrace basketball as a sport of the people, and basketball players — many of whom come from poor and struggling backgrounds — have an important history of taking progressive positions and giving back to their communities, including NBA players showing up on the side of social and racial justice. Rather than participating in a propaganda trip that will help Israel continue its policies of racism and oppression, we encourage you to travel to the West Bank and meet with Palestinians living under occupation. CODEPINK is happy to provide you with contacts and resources to do this.

As NBA Champions, you have the opportunity to use your success and influence to help end Isreal’s abuses of Palestinian human rights. Please support the Palestinian struggle for freedom and liberation by not traveling to Israel as part of a propaganda trip.

Sincerely,

Who's signing

Joshua Angelus
Larry Lima
Mehdie Vakili
Deborah Clark
Barry George
Kenneth Chay
Colleen Frankovich
margaret murphy
Julianne Ramaker
Ned Long Long
Shermin Ahmed
Susan Kepner
Diane Mason
Bob Jordan
Anissa Nain
Zuhair Thalji
Michael Motta
Michael Khotoveli
Alicia Pagano
Deborah Woodard
Robert Graves Jr Graves Jr
Jacob Picheny
Nick Meek
Mike Madden
Mike Butkiewicz
Christine Morrissey
Farhad Lemraski
Margaret Rogers
2,760 signatures

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Comments

  • Joshua Angelus
    signed 2019-06-18 17:25:50 -0400
  • Larry Lima
    signed via 2019-06-18 17:19:30 -0400
  • Mehdie Vakili
    signed 2019-06-18 17:19:13 -0400
  • Deborah Clark
    signed 2019-06-18 17:15:35 -0400
  • Barry George
    signed 2019-06-18 17:12:26 -0400
  • Kenneth Chay
    signed 2019-06-18 17:04:43 -0400
  • Colleen Frankovich
    signed 2019-06-18 17:02:36 -0400
  • margaret murphy
    signed 2019-06-18 17:02:05 -0400
  • Julianne Ramaker
    signed 2019-06-18 17:01:29 -0400
  • Ned Long Long
    signed 2019-06-18 17:01:07 -0400
  • Shermin Ahmed
    signed 2019-06-18 17:00:05 -0400
  • Susan Kepner
    signed 2019-06-18 16:56:46 -0400
    As athletes that PEOPLE LOOK UP TO you CAN HAVE A STRONG EFFECT ON STANDING UP AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES!! The people of Palestine need HEROES like YOU. Don’t go to Israel go to Palestine and Gaza and see for yourselves! Be HEROES!!!
  • Diane Mason
    signed 2019-06-18 16:56:35 -0400
  • Bob Jordan
    signed 2019-06-18 16:54:29 -0400
  • Anissa Nain
    signed 2019-06-18 16:51:55 -0400
  • Zuhair Thalji
    signed via 2019-06-18 16:47:46 -0400
    Think about it. What does a trip to Israel have to do with winning the NBA Championship? Larry Tannenbaum is a Zionist who wants to use you to white wash Apartheid Israel. Please don’t be used in this manner to cheapen your win.
  • Michael Motta
    signed 2019-06-18 16:47:33 -0400
  • Michael Khotoveli
    signed 2019-06-18 16:45:46 -0400
  • Alicia Pagano
    signed 2019-06-18 16:40:02 -0400
  • Deborah Woodard
    signed 2019-06-18 16:39:45 -0400
  • Robert Graves Jr Graves Jr
    signed 2019-06-18 16:37:57 -0400
  • Jacob Picheny
    signed 2019-06-18 16:37:20 -0400
  • Nick Meek
    signed 2019-06-18 16:35:22 -0400
  • Mike Madden
    signed 2019-06-18 16:31:25 -0400
  • Mike Butkiewicz
    signed 2019-06-18 16:31:00 -0400
    Stay away from the Israeli propaganda.
  • Justice4Palestine
    @4_falastin tweeted link to this page. 2019-06-18 16:30:58 -0400
    Dear @Raptors don’t travel to apartheid Israel w/team owner Larry Tanenbaum. Your @NBA championship win is historic & must not be used as propaganda to cover up Israel’s crimes of occupation & aparthied. #SkipTheTrip #RaptorsDontGo https://www.codepink.org/raptors?recruiter_id=749964
  • Christine Morrissey
    signed 2019-06-18 16:30:34 -0400
  • Farhad Lemraski
    signed 2019-06-18 16:29:58 -0400
    Please do not SportWash #Apartheid , especially the African American team members, who know the bitter taste of Apartheid and Segregation. Thank you!
  • #NoJusticeNoPeace
    @PalsJustice tweeted link to this page. 2019-06-18 16:29:45 -0400
    Dear @Raptors don’t travel to apartheid Israel w/team owner Larry Tanenbaum. Your @NBA championship win is historic & must not be used as propaganda to cover up Israel’s crimes of occupation & aparthied. #SkipTheTrip #RaptorsDontGo https://www.codepink.org/raptors?recruiter_id=45488
  • Margaret Rogers
    signed 2019-06-18 16:29:40 -0400
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