Israel’s 60th Birthday

Will Manchester United Celebrate Israel at 60? by Dave

The Israeli government has invited Manchester United to play a match during the state’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

United manager Alex Ferguson was asked to take his team to Israel later this year during a meeting Thursday at Old Trafford with Israel’s ambassador to Britain, Ron Prosor.”

I formally invited Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United to visit Israel during the 60th anniversary,” Prosor told The Associated Press. “I did not get a formal answer, but it seems very positive and I think we will try on both sides to get it to happen.”

The defending Premier League champions would travel to Israel at the end of the European season in May, shortly after the anniversary, to play the Israeli national team. Last June, Spanish champion Real Madrid played a mixed Israeli-Palestinian team in a charity match at Ramat Gan stadium.

We’re flattered to be asked,” United spokesman Phil Townsend said. “But at present we do not know how long the season will last, or what plans national teams may have for friendly internationals.”

United has never played in Israel, although Ferguson told Prosor he was in Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and has made subsequent visits.

Prosor has embarked on a public relations offensive since arriving in Britain two months ago in a bid to improve Israel’s image.

He hopes soccer can foster peace with the Palestinians. [by celebrating the ethnic cleaning of Palestine?]

“There are a lot of supporters of Manchester United in Israel and for United to come out on the 60th anniversary can push football as a diplomatic tool in the region,” he said. “Through football, we can bridge peace between people and enhance better understanding. Football is a game where you need discipline, teamwork and we’re working together to achieve common targets and objectives in the region.”

Later Thursday in Manchester, Prosor planned to hold talks with Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

International Herald Tribune

Prosor seems to be trying to “improve Israels image” by associating the country with a hugely successful brand. I fail to see what good it will do Man Utd to be associated with the worlds worst brand, especially at a time of year when Israel is celebrating their independence at the expense of the Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed. If they agree to help “celebrate” this ethnic cleansing and become a political tool for Zionism, I will be appalled and I imagine many of their 350 million global fans will be too.

“Israel’s brand is by a considerable margin the most negative we have ever measured in the NBI, and comes at the bottom of the ranking on almost every question” was the conclusion of the author of the National Brands Index and a BBC poll drew similar conclusions. The national brands poll was carried out in 35 countries – Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, and the USA. Does Man Utd really want to upset fans in all these countries?

Of course theres a reason why Israel is the worlds worst brand, because its arguably the worlds leading criminal state supporting a repressive apartheid system, its in violation of UN resolutions, international law and basic morality. It’s for these reasons alone Man Utd should boycott the game.

I’m unclear as to how Prosor believes celebrating the ethnic cleansing of Palestine “can bridge peace between people.” This is absolute madness or a big fat lie.

I suggest all justice for Palestine activists try contacting the following and asking that the club respect the Palestinians who see 1948 as the Nakba (catastrophe).


Supporters’ organisations


Major fan sites

If you have better campaign ideas/links/news please feel free to leave them as comments on this page.

Lets hope some Man U fans have big enough hearts to emulate this Celtic fan who protested when an Israeli team played Rangers

More on Prosors UK Plans

Survey: Israel worst brand name in the world

Israel, Iran top ‘negative list’

International Herald Tribune: Israel invites Manchester United to play during 60th anniversary celebrations


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

To help a racist, apartheid state celebrate 60 years of its ethnic cleansing of the original inhabitants would be a really black mark on Man United’s record. I do hope they will refuse the invitiation.

Comment by John Cribb

I do hope that Man U set an example and politely decline the offer. Otherwise they will be seen to support this awful government in their systematic abuse of Palestines indiginous population. It will be akin to the farcical propoganda that was exercised in Hitlers Germany in the Pre WW2 Olympics.

Comment by Brydie O'Hara

Does anyone know if man u has responded to the offer yet?

Comment by Lamia


I got a reply from the manchester lot it goes as :

Were are aware of the situation, we had prepared the attached document to pass on to Man U fan groups about the issue. We came to the conclusion that we should run the campaign with the support with of the fans or at least their knowledge. We decided to take action about this after the demo this Sat, as it’s our main immediate priority.

We have called for another demo in Manchester the sat after (2nd of Feb)
We also have plans to hold banners during the in united matches,
Have a rally outside the stadium and a stall in town, love united condemn Israel.

They also attached a document (leaflet) with it.

Comment by loolt

[…] Will Manchester United Celebrate Israel’s 60th Birthday? […]

Pingback by Israel at Sixty: Will the Beatles celebrate the ethnic cleansing of Palestine? « Israel’s 60th Birthday

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