Meet team BDS! London university rugby team backs Israel boycott

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Meet team BDS! London university rugby team backs Israel boycott

Goldsmiths sports team 'excited' to reveal new Palestinian kit in support of anti-Israel movement

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

Goldsmiths University students wearing a Palestinian flag on their shirts
Goldsmiths University students wearing a Palestinian flag on their shirts

The rugby team at Goldsmith’s University has unveiled a new kit featuring a Palestinian flag in a show of support for the boycott Israel movement.

A group picture was posted on the team’s Facebook page last week. It showed the flag on the shirt sleeves.

The post said: “We’re excited to reveal our new kit which features the Palestinian flag on the as part of our SU’s continued commitment to supporting BDS. We’re hoping through our work with Goldsmiths Palestine Society this year we can encourage more societies and clubs to endorse and raise awareness about BDS.”

A Union of Jewish Students spokesperson told Jewish News: “Whereas the Goldsmiths Israel Society have recently been promoting ‘Bridges Not Boycotts’, the Goldsmiths RFC seem to only be interested in creating further divisions between students on campus. Sport is not an area where political acts should be welcomed and this inherently political act is likely to alienate many Jewish students. It is an unfair and unsporting tactic that is being used to push the students’ unions divisive political agenda.”

“It is concerning that Goldsmiths SU continues to promote and encourage such acts, and we will be working with the Israel and Jewish Societies to ensure that relevant action is taken to address this.”

A spokesperson for Goldsmiths, University of London said: “Goldsmiths Rugby Football Club is a sports club of Goldsmiths Students’ Union – which is independent to the university. This decision was taken by Goldsmiths RFC.”

“At this university we are rightly proud of our diverse, inclusive and respectful community.”

“This includes in the field of sport and it’s disappointing that the rugby club has taken this decision. Sport should be unifying and should be played without borders and by all. No one should feel alienated or excluded.
“We are working with everyone across campus to ensure that all groups feel safe and supported at Goldsmiths.”

A Zionist Federation statement said: “Sport is a wonderful medium for bringing people together, but this disappointing move will simply drive them apart”.

Chief Executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, Simon Johnson also commented on the decision, calling it “astounding”, adding that it “makes me question how they think this can possibly help towards a two state solution.”

“If anything, it is a policy that will alienate Jewish students at the University.  Sport should be used to promote peace and taking such a divisive position helps neither side in this complex dispute”

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