ANCYL in Western Cape slam news of Blitzbokke training camp with Israeli team
Cape Town – The ANC Youth League in the Western Cape said it is disturbed by an upcoming rugby camp between the Blitzbokke and Israel, saying it’s an unacceptable misuse of the sporting team.
Provincial chairperson Khalid Sayed said yesterday that the ANCYL would be raising its concerns with the relevant bodies, including the Minister of Sports, and if necessary would “together with the peoples of the Western Cape, be embarking on strategic protest actions".
This comes after reports that the Israeli 7s side intend to travel to the SA's Rugby Academy in Stellenbosch to train with the Blitzbokke in mid-December.
The ANCYL said it was abusive for the 7s team to host a country that South Africa has downgraded diplomatic relationships with, because of Israel's violation of international law and abuse of Palestinian human rights.
"It is also detrimental to South Africans because Israel is investing heavily in growing a group of Israeli apartheid supporters among a certain sector of society which is already struggling with transformation," Sayed said.
The ANCYL said Israeli rugby was literally born out of apartheid South Africa.
"Apartheid South Africa had strong relations with Israel during the 1980s – in addition to supplying military weapons to the apartheid SA regime, Israel also assisted apartheid South Africa in other ways, and vice versa."
According to the ANCYL some of the first rugby equipment (balls and team jerseys) was sourced out of apartheid South Africa when Israel started playing the game in the 1970s. In addition, during the height of the sports boycott against apartheid South Africa, Israel hosted a tour by a Northern Transvaal XV team.
It’s official 🔥![CDATA]>🔥![CDATA]>🔥 Israeli 7”s to camp with worlds best the Blitzbokke 💪![CDATA]>💪![CDATA]>🇮![CDATA]>🇱![CDATA]>🇿![CDATA]>🇦![CDATA]>🇮![CDATA]>🇱![CDATA]>🇿![CDATA]>🇦 What an opportunity for our youngsters!!! http://www.blitzbokke.com/2020/11/27/israel-rugby-7s-to-camp-with-the-blitzbokke/Posted by Israeli National Rugby Team onFriday, 27 November 2020
"(It’s) important to note that South Africa's political liberation was also aided by the mobilisation of the international community, this included banning South African sporting codes in international events."
The ANCYL said it had a duty to treat Israel the way it wanted other nations to treat apartheid South Africa.
"Rugby has been trying to transform in recent years, and the sport has made fantastic strides which the ANCYL commends. However, this latest act of siding with an oppressive regime such as Israel is a step backward."
It said South African rugby was at the receiving end of protests and boycotts due to the country's apartheid policies.
"Likewise, Israel's 7s rugby team will be at the receiving end of protests and boycotts if they enter the Western Cape and have a camp in Stellenbosch. This is not a threat but a promise that we, as the ANCYL, make."
The Blitzbokke media liaison has been contacted for comment, but has yet to respond.