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Israel destroys Palestine Stadium again … strategic target, or elimination of hope?

Nov 20, 2012, 10:04 AM EDT

A Palestinian inspects the damage to a soccer stadium after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City Reuters

I hate the word ‘rubble.’ Nothing good can result from that word appearing in a sentence — it denotes death and destruction, either wrought by nature or, worse, by man. More rubble again this week as the Israeli Air Force bombed targets on the Gaza Strip, with terrible loss of life and destruction of, among other things, Palestine Stadium.

The Israelis have destroyed this stadium before, in 2006, in an air strike that literally left a giant crater in the middle of the soccer pitch. Palestine just got done rebuilding it, with the help of FIFA, and now it’s mostly a pile of smoking concrete once again. Palestine Stadium is not only the home of the national soccer team, but is the headquarters of many club sports — the hub of sports activity in the area.

The Israeli Defense Forces claim that the stadium has been a staging area for firing rockets from Gaza into Tel Aviv, and that’s why it was targeted. Some observers on the Palestinian side disagree with that simple explanation, however.

Columnist Dave Zirin, sports editor of The Nation:

The answer is simple. Sports is more than loved in Gaza (and it is loved.) It’s an expression of humanity for those living under occupation. It’s not just soccer and it’s not just the boys. Everyone plays, with handball, volleyball and basketball joining soccer as the most popular choices. … As one Palestinian man from Gaza said to me, “[Sports] is our time to forget where we are and remember who we are.”

Attacking the athletic infrastructure is about attacking the idea that joy, normalcy or a universally recognizable humanity could ever be a part of life for a Palestinian child. …

At home, attacking sports is about nothing less than killing hope.

I have no informed opinion on whether rockets were indeed fired from the stadium, or who is right or wrong in this conflict. But Zirin is right when he asserts that an attack on the sports infrastructure is an attack on hope. More than destroying buildings, it’s a form of psychological warfare. But then, isn’t all war?

Zirin points out that Palestinian’s domestic soccer league, the West Bank Premier League, has completed only seven seasons since its founding in 1977, which I find astounding. But then, a huge bomb crater in the middle of your field tends to slow down play quite a lot.

  1. heyblueyoustink - Nov 20, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    What about Barney Rubble?

  2. mostdiggity - Nov 20, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Do what? It would seem that the Isaeralis might have learned a few things in their destroy and be destroyed history… but it is not to be. What it is that these “chosen people” feel is their god-given duty to do? Play smash mouth in their holy city until not even god will smile on their assumptive eye-for-an-eye stupidity?

    • dlsmith621 - Nov 20, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      Hey genius. Who started this???? Hamas sent rockets into Israel. That’s what started it. Would you sit back if someone started sending rockets into your home????

      • dondada10 - Nov 20, 2012 at 7:30 PM

        If somebody took your land by force, would you sit back?

        • handsofsweed - Nov 20, 2012 at 9:46 PM

          The exact same question can be asked of the Israelis. Fact is, both groups have legit claim to the land, going back multiple thousands of years. The only solution is two states. They are going to have to share. Neither side likes it or wants it, but they’re both going to have to admit that the other group has every right to be there. Until that happens, this is what you’ll see.

        • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 24, 2012 at 10:29 AM

          That is not what happened. A population exchange was agreed to by Arab nations…. hence, the millions of Arab Jews who were shoved out of their homes in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Qatar, etc. upon the creation of the State of Israel. Alongside, btw, an Arab state… that then went on to start a war with other Arab nations against the newly created via diplomacy Jewish state.

          Bumper sticker logic doesn’t tell you the truth. It never has.

      • somethinghappeninghere - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:24 PM

        Actually, Israel did start it by killing a 13 year old boy. but since you are brainwashed by the media, naturally, “plucky little Israel” is always the victim, right? Or is it just Arabs are all untermenshen for you. No kiddo (or bubbie?), Israel started this one…as usual!

        • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 24, 2012 at 10:34 AM

          What 13 year old boy? 10 years of missiles strikes have occurred, but it’s because of a 13 year old boy dying?

          See what you did, Rick Chandler? I’m sure you’re happy about opening a can of worms. But unfortunately, your worms are really just snakes in the grass, taking opportunities to lie about others, shifting blame from their own actions onto other people’s reactions of those actions.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 24, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      I have an idea. Instead of dissecting a people whom you openly denigrate, how about you hit some books and learn a thing or two? Israel does not come close to treating the Palestinians as the Germans treated the Jews, for instance. Gaza is not an open air prison. The blockade in place is done so because of those thousands of missiles acquired to shoot at Israel. But, yeah, spout off, make noise, and expose yourself on the internet as a bigot, racist dipwad. That’s why our Founding Fathers gave us the 1st Amendment, right?

      • mostdiggity - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:56 PM

        Big talk for a little man. I’m not a bigot, but a Pacifist. Maybe you should learn the difference little boy.

        • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 25, 2012 at 10:17 AM

          Right. I’m the Little Boy. You have the audacity to suggest that Israel started the 6 Day War as a Land Grab, and I’m the Little Boy. I guess that makes you the Fat Man. Hey, Fattie, have you read a book about Israel’s wars? I’m guessing, and it’s only a guess, that whatever knowledge you claim to know about the Middle East doesn’t quite bode well with the actual history of the region.

          If Israel really started the ’67 war with the intention of “grabbing some land” then why did they stop at the edge of the Sinai and Golan Heights and Jerusalem? If it only took 6 Days for Israel to thoroughly dismantle 3 warring armies and grab a buffer zone, why didn’t they spend another week really wrecking havoc on the citizens of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria?

          Speak up, Fat Man. I want to know.

          • mostdiggity - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:01 PM

            OOOwww…ouch. Right in the gut, Sandy. But then he threw smoke and you just blow it. Ethnicity, aside you have nuttin’ in common. He had no Knuclkeball and you are a knuckle head. Oh, BTW, let’s talk “audacity” and “denigrate”. I read your little diarrhea-of-the-keyboard hate-blog, which sounds like you don’t just blow smoke, you inhale.

            Now, I tire of little minds who like to pretend they know something one can only find in fairy tales; think Old Testament and The Zionist Times and Fishwrap. Don’t bother calling again cause I got better things to do than spank little boys who act out with impulsive ignorance, then act like they aren’t the hypocrites, HYPOCRITE. Fat Daddy.

      • mostdiggity - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:58 PM

        And does ANYTHING give you or any others the right to take by force? Think… 6 day war bimbo.

        • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 25, 2012 at 10:12 AM

          You do understand the the 6 Day war was a defensive battle against 3 Arab armies, right? Oh, that’s right. You don’t. Because you don’t read history. Because you just believe any of the crap dished at you from those who hate Israel’s right to exist. And I’m the bimbo? I’m not the useless, unedumacated tool in this debate, Champ.

          • mostdiggity - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:43 PM

            no, say you no unedumacated? fooled me tool time.

  3. schlom - Nov 20, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Never mind all the dead people on either side, Israel is attacking hope! I hope the UN looks into this.

  4. henryproject2012 - Nov 20, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    No matter how it is spun in the media, no one still in possession of even a negligible measure of humanity can defend the world’s tenth military power (funded in large part by international subsidies), an illegal colonizer (based on UN territory sanctions), an illegal holder of hundreds of nuclear warheads (based on the global non-proliferation treaty) against an army of 30,000 armed with ROCKETS, not missiles.

    Nothing good can come out of this. This is not self-defence its the continued implementation of the government’s illegal colonization policy.

    • somethinghappeninghere - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      Illegal GENOCIDE policy, you mean! (But nothing’s illegal when you are Israel doing it!) Funny. (well not funny, but…) Israel, founded by holocausted Jews, I guess learned their “lesson” (and read the Talmud, no doubt) from the Nazis by doing onto others…

      • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 25, 2012 at 10:20 AM

        What genocide? 150 dead in 5 days of air strikes AGAINST ROCKET LAUNCH PADS AND MISSILE SILOS is like lunch hour in Syria. But, hey, as long as the Israelis are doing it, then it’s because of teh dastardly Joos and therefore it’s a genocide!

        Palestinians have a higher quality of life than any Arab citizens in the region. BUT IT’S A GENOCIDE!!!!

        Palestinian population has quadrupled over the past 40 years. BUT IT’S A GENOCIDE!!!!!!

        Israel is still delivering food and medicine (2-4 tons a DAY) into Gaza AND has hospitals filled with Gazans BUT IT’S A GENOCIDE!!!!!!!

  5. skids003 - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    Easy fix. Stts into Israel. Gaza City couldn’t exist without the aid it gets from Israel. They are like a welfare state.

    • skids003 - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:03 AM

      WHat happened? Stop shooting rockets into Israel.

      • somethinghappeninghere - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:26 PM

        Well, if Israel stops trying to genocide Palestinians, maybe they would stop sending in rockets!
        Get your head out of a lying media, will ya? Israel killed a kid before any Hamas rockets started.
        And, BTW, Hamas would not exist without Israeli funding and founding! Learn the truth for a change!

    • henryproject2012 - Nov 21, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      As if Israel would exist without the aid it gets from the international community. Its a subsidized artificial and not economically viable welfare state. Even its military equipment is subsidized. Do your homework’s.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 24, 2012 at 10:45 AM

        Do you have any idea how much money the world gives the Palestinians through the UNRWA?

      • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM

        I should add, look at what the Palestinians have done with their money.

        Arafat died a billionaire, after rejecting a very real peace and state offer and starting the 2nd intifada.

        And the Palestinian people still live in squalor.

  6. koufaxmitzvah - Nov 24, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Congrats, Rick. You got to open a can of worms and bring yourself some internet traffic. Too bad you gave yourself away to those in the know about you being a total know-nothing when concerning Israel and the Palestinians. You quote Dave Zirin but you don’t counterbalance his very extreme anti-Israel rhetoric? Bad journalism….. ah, but it’s a blog, so that’s cool.

    Yes, Rick, that stadium for the kids was used by Hamas to shoot missiles into Israel. If you got a problem with Israel blowing the crap out of missile launching pad used to terrorize her citizens, then you obviously don’t have a brain worth discussing this situation.

    Israel was created out of the defunct Ottoman Empire through the same channels of diplomacy that created such Arab states as Transjordan (i.e. Jordan), Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar, etc. There are thousands of years of archeological evidence that proves of a Jewish heritage on this land. This heritage extends beyond the Jordan River Valley, but in an effort to gain autonomy, the Jews who wished to create the State of Israel made various compromises throughout the years and ended up with a patch of land the size of New Jersey. This patch of land has fought and won 5 wars of survival, becoming stronger along the way as such dark forces as the Military Industrial Complex saw some Research, Development, and Dollar Signs. This, however, does not change the fact that Jerusalem’s majority has been Jewish forever, and that the Jews of the MIddle East have a right to live their lives without the constant drum beat of war from her neighbors, as well as the poisoned pens of her detractors.

    Once again, Rick, good job on boosting your traffic. Now take off those blinders and learn something.