BDS calls for lacrosse team to withdraw from championship in Israel
The boycott Israel movement has set its sights on this week's World Lacrosse Championships in Netanya, calling on the Iroquois Nationals, a Native American team, to pull out of the competition.
The BDS movement attempted to spark sympathy among Iroquois people, according to an open letter on the movement’s official website in which it argued that both the Iroquois Confederacy and the Palestinian people “struggle for self-determination and against ongoing dispossession and colonization.”
The boycotters' letter claims that the Wingate Institute, a sports college and facility where most of the games will be held between July 12-21, is a settlement on Palestinian land, even though it is on sovereign Israeli territory, within pre-1967 lines.
According to the BDS letter, the Wingate Institute was “built on the lands of Khirbat al-Zababida, ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian inhabitants in 1948 as part of the attacks focused on clearing indigenous villages along the coast north of Tel Aviv.”
After Manchester passed on hosting duties due to unexpected setbacks last year, the competition landed in the hands of Israel.
According to David Lasday, the chief operating officer of Israel Lacrosse, "there will be over 150 games during the 10 day competition which will allow for amazing exposure both domestically and internationally for Israel and lacrosse."
This is not the first time the BDS movement has attempted to appeal to sports teams and convince them not to play in Israel. In June, the BDS movement claimed a win when the Argentinian national soccer team canceled a friendly match against Israel.
However, the Argentinian Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie claimed that the reasoning was unrelated, instead connecting it to political agitation and death threats to the soccer players from those who opposed the team playing in Israel.
In addition, the backlash after the US embassy was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem led to the choice to cancel, Faurie claimed.
Joshua Halickman contributed to this report.