Israel and a sports boycott: Antisemitic? Anti-Zionist?
- Publisher: SAGE Publications
The paper identifies and summarises the debates that surround the place of Israel in international sport and assesses how that place is increasingly being contested. The long-standing conflict between Israel and Palestine has begun to manifest in the world of sport with the paper sketching the debates of those calling for, and those opposed to, sport sanctions/boycott of Israel until the ‘Palestinian Question’ is resolved. Five related tasks are addressed: first, to summarise the call for sanctions/boycott emanating from the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions movement. Second, to explore how this call is establishing itself in the world of sport. The responses of those opposed to any form of sanction/boycott are then considered. The confusion that surrounds the term antisemitism is addressed and the relationship between (anti-) Zionism and antisemitism unpacked. The discussion concludes with an assessment of the claim made by the Israeli state, and its supporters, that any action against the country’s participation in international sport would be an act of antisemitism. Offering a timely, integrated summary of the heated debates that surround the Israel/Palestine conflict, the paper contributes to a wider discussion on the relationship between sport and politics.