Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Chilean Soccer Intifada

A recent video – Jan 2013 – about Palestino Soccer Club
At (10:01) shows a rock thrower with the word: INTIFADA.
At (10:08) it shows a PLO fighter.

In Spanish: CD Palestino  – Club Deportivo Palestino (Palestinian Sports Club).

They are popular in Chile’s capital, Santiago, where there are a lot of Palestinian Christians. Games have been beamed to the Arabs in the contested areas of Israel; so they are also popular in the Mideast.

When the team was founded in 1920, by Palestinian immigrants to Chile and their sons took their team colors from the colors of the Arab battle flag during WW I. The Arab battle flag of WW I became the root colors of the Palestinian flag (as well as the Jordanian flag), today.

INTIFADA – in Chile?!
Look at the women. These are NOT Muslims. A lot of the fans are NOT Arab – either.
PS: It is common in Latin America to shoot flares In the colors of one’s team.
If you listen to the team song, the chorus says Intifada

Their fans call themselves Baisanos, which comes from the word paisano (Spanish: countryman – in this case, countryman of Palestine – the added s is merely a plural). They replaced the P with B, because their Arab ancestors were unable to pronounce the letter P, and mispronounced  it as B1.

The team has become highly politicized.  Though over 99% of Palestinians in Chile are Christian, the Baisano fans will sometimes were a Keffiyah, which historically has been an Islamic headdress.  Before each game they have a moment of silence for the dead in Palestine.   Some fans (hinchadas in Spanish) sport the motto of Intifada (Arabic for resistance).

Baisanos - Chilean Soccer Intifada

Los Baisanos [The Palestino soccer fans] – Chilean Soccer Intifada – notice the two women

Palestino - Cristal

Palestino Jersey – CRISTAL

Some absurdities arise.

Their fan’s sports jerseys can sport ads for the Bank of Palestine. Ironically, some jerseys will sport ads for CRISTAL, a premium champagne – the problem is that Islam forbids alcohol.

Even more bizarrely, most of the Palestinian-Chileans are inter-married into Spanish, Italian, and German stocks. Yet, somehow, the Palestinians in Chile have kept up a strong ethnic identification inspite of this inter-marriage. Like the Jews in America who are returning to their Hebrew roots, the Palestinians in Chile are returning to the Arab Roots.

Now, if all they were doing is rooting for the resistance of their – by now, distant – cousins in  the contested areas, this might be acceptable.  Didn’t some American Jews run guns to Irgun, and the Stern Gang?

But some of these Baisanos boast a sympathy for Hamas.

Good grief! Hamas is not only terrorist, but Islamic supremacist. The Palestinians in Chile are Christian. Are they insane to support an Islamic terrorist group?!

Most Palestinians in Chile can trace their ancestor’s arrival in Chile to before 1930. Not all. There were a few who arrived after 1948 and 1967; but most go back before Israel was run by the Jewish people.

In fact, the immigration started in 19th century when Christians were fleeing persecutions at the hands of Muslim/Turkish tyranny.

Why are their descendents cheering for an Islamicized cause right now?

These people have no sense of their own history.

The Fan Base among them certainly has a lot non-Arabs – as the videos show – but they are being fed a false history by this soccer club.

A recent video – Jan 2013 – about Palestino Soccer Club

BTW: The club has a large Arab fan base in the Mideast as this fan’s Facebook page will show.  A lot of the posts on the facebook page are in Arabic.

They have played exhibition games in the Mideast; and the Chilean team lends players to the Palestinian national teams.

Roberto Bishara is a prime example.

Roberto Bishara: Soccer is more powerful than bullets (In Spanish)

However, Israel will not let the Palestinian National Team play in the territories, because they refuse to recognize Palestine, even though the FIFA does. The Israelis hassled Roberto Bishara at Tel Aviv airport over this; and claimed he could not be playing soccer for a nation that does not exist.(I may support Israel, but this is unacceptable harassment..)

The Israeli police played stupid, and pretended that they did not believe Robert Bishara’s story, because there is no Palestine, in their eyes. (This is unnecessary abuse; and wins Israel no friends.)

But to get a full sense of how nutty this is: Roberto Bishara is Catholic; yet he joined a Muslim prayer prostration while on loan to the national team of Palestine. Even nuttier, Bishara, though of Palestinian descent, does not speak Arabic.

Roberto Bishara: Soccer is more powerful than bullets (In Spanish)

-Usted juega en la Primera División de Chile y es chileno de nacimiento, ¿cómo pudo jugar con Palestina ante Jordania en Al-Ram?

-Porque mi padre es palestino, como también mis abuelos. Cuando me llegó la invitación para participar en ese encuentro no lo dudé: fue algo histórico para Palestina.

-¡Pero hombre, si es usted chileno! Por cierto, ¿me permite una pregunta personal, querría saber si además es musulmán?

-No, yo soy católico. Pero respeto la historia del país de mis padres, sus costumbres y su religión. La verdadera libertad consiste en respetar la historia y los derechos de las demás personas.

-Pese a que se confiesa católico, hay una foto que dio la vuelta al mundo en la que se ve a toda la selección de Palestina, también a usted, rezando como musulmanes.

-Sí, así es. Es cierto. Recé junto a mis compañeros por respeto a ellos y a todo el pueblo palestino. Pero yo recé a mi Dios, como harían otros con el suyo. ¿Es lo lógico, no?

-Es usted chileno y católico, pero el 96 por ciento de la población palestina es musulmana. ¿Habla usted árabe?

-Yo no. Mi padre sí.

-You play in the First Division of Chile and are Chilean by birth, ¿How could you play in Jordan Jordan in Al-Ram[at the stadium]?

-Because my father is Palestinian, also my grandparents. [My note: obviously on his mother’s side]
When I received the invitation to participate in this game, I did not hesitate. I was something historic for Palestine.

C’mon man! You are Chilean, for certain. Permit me a personal question, I would like to know if you are Muslim, as well.

-No, I am Catholic. But I respect the history of the country of my ancestors, their customs, and their religion. True liberty consists in respecting the history and the rights of other people.

Although you’re Catholic, there is a photo that went around the world showing the entire team of Palestine, also you, praying as Muslims.

-Yes, for sure. It is true. I prayed along with my peers [out of] respect for them and the entire Palestinian people. But I prayed to my God, as would others with theirs. It is logical, no?!

-You are Chilean and Catholic, but 96 percent of the Palestinian population is Muslim. Do you speak Arabic?

-Me, no. My father, yes.

Even Bishara sort of admitted it was nutty. With his background of recent immigrants in the family tree, his passion for Palestine is quite understandable.

But what about second- and third-generation Chilean-Palestinians? What about the non-Arab Chileans who get caught up in this? None of this makes sense.

Chile’s Palestinians are whipping up a large anti-Israel sentiment in Chile, which otherwise was very friendly to Jews.

1 The same P to B pronunciation difficulty is responsible for the naming of the Arab town, Nablus. The Jews call the general area Shechem after the nearby ancient Jewish town of the same name: Shechem. When the Romans took the Holy Land over, they created a new city named Flavia Neapolis [New City Flavius] in 72 AD, after the Roman Emperor, Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus.

The Arabs could not pronounce the letter P, and so Neapolis became Arabized to Nablus.