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

mohammad taqieddin
Stephen Schoggen
Curt Rohland
Babak Torgoley
Reva Rubenstein
Michael Shannon
Vicki Ferguson
Lazaro Mohamed
Cathy Castro
Ken Burritt
David Morrow
Timothy Smith
Richard Eli Campbell
Peggy Gardner
Dylan Maii
Amanda Ragnauth
Pat Hawthorn
Jackie Wolf
Bobbie Flowers
Steven Goldman
David Simpkin
Cynthia Heil
Dr. Edwin Daniel
Jane Power
Mary Fischer
Mary Murtagh
Gretel Munroe
Burton Steck
Calvin Cahan
2,759 signatures

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Comments

  • mohammad taqieddin
    signed 2019-06-18 15:49:17 -0400
    I hope you will do the right thing and skip the trip to Israel.
  • Stephen Schoggen
    signed 2019-06-18 15:48:47 -0400
  • Curt Rohland
    signed 2019-06-18 15:48:12 -0400
  • Babak Torgoley
    signed 2019-06-18 15:47:58 -0400
  • Reva Rubenstein
    signed 2019-06-18 15:47:18 -0400
    As a proud American Jew please dont go to an apartheid state like present day Israel!
  • Michael Shannon
    signed 2019-06-18 15:46:35 -0400
  • Vicki Ferguson
    signed 2019-06-18 15:46:26 -0400
  • Lazaro Mohamed
    signed 2019-06-18 15:43:52 -0400
  • Cathy Castro
    signed 2019-06-18 15:42:27 -0400
  • Ken Burritt
    signed 2019-06-18 15:41:38 -0400
  • David Morrow
    signed 2019-06-18 15:41:28 -0400
  • Timothy Smith
    signed 2019-06-18 15:41:13 -0400
    How about France or Italy or Germany instead. Just say no to Israel. #FreePalestine #BDS
  • Richard Eli Campbell
    signed 2019-06-18 15:40:51 -0400
    As a Jew and Holocaust survivor I urge you to refrain from traveling to the Apartheid state of Israel.
  • Peggy Gardner
    signed 2019-06-18 15:40:40 -0400
  • Dylan Maii
    signed 2019-06-18 15:40:39 -0400
  • Amanda Ragnauth
    signed 2019-06-18 15:39:39 -0400
  • Pat Hawthorn
    signed 2019-06-18 15:38:57 -0400
  • Jackie Wolf
    signed 2019-06-18 15:38:14 -0400
  • Bobbie Flowers
    @bobbiedee tweeted link to this page. 2019-06-18 15:37:06 -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=162469
  • Bobbie Flowers
    signed 2019-06-18 15:37:01 -0400
  • Steven Goldman
    signed 2019-06-18 15:36:39 -0400
  • David Simpkin
    signed 2019-06-18 15:36:03 -0400
  • Cynthia Heil
    signed 2019-06-18 15:35:29 -0400
  • Dr. Edwin Daniel
    signed 2019-06-18 15:35:26 -0400
  • Jane Power
    signed 2019-06-18 15:35:07 -0400
  • Mary Fischer
    signed 2019-06-18 15:34:34 -0400
  • Mary Murtagh
    signed 2019-06-18 15:33:07 -0400
  • Gretel Munroe
    signed 2019-06-18 15:32:37 -0400
  • Burton Steck
    signed 2019-06-18 15:32:02 -0400
  • Calvin Cahan
    signed 2019-06-18 15:31:48 -0400
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