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January 8, 2014 9:50 am

Chilean Soccer Team Rebuked for Maps Showing Israel as ‘Palestine’

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The Chilean soccer team featuring all of Israel as 'Palestine'. Photo: JTA.

JNS.org – Chile’s Jewish community is outraged after the Santiago-based soccer club Club Deportivo Palestino released a new jersey shoring the number “1” in the shape of Israel, thus implying that the entire Jewish state is Palestinian territory.

“We know that FIFA prohibits such actions,” Gerardo Gorodischer, president of Chile’s Jewish Community, told the Associated Press. “You cannot make a political claim and import the Middle East conflict using the platform of football, using the sport to lie and hate.”

The Palestino soccer Club was founded by Palestinian immigrants. About 350,000 Palestinian immigrants and their descendants live in Chile. The country officially recognized a Palestinian state in 2011. Chile’s Palestinian Federation has also backed the club’s choice of shirt.

“We are deeply troubled by reports of the highly politicized and unsportsmanlike conduct of the entire El Palestino soccer club, which deliberately brought inappropriate political imagery to the soccer field,” Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said in a statement.  “This clear delegitimization of Israel by substituting for it their map of ‘Palestine’ is also antithetical to the spirit of international sports competition, and FIFA has a responsibility to hold the team accountable for its actions.  We call on El Palestino to stop using the jersey and comply with FIFA regulations.”

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