Palestino Soccer Club

Minnesota has the Vikings. Notre Dame has the Fighting Irish.

Well, the Christian Palestinians were so powerful, and prominent, in Chile that the in 1920 they founded their own soccer (futbol) club, CD Palestino (Club Deportivo Palestino/Palestinan Sports Club).

In 1920! 1920? Yes! 1920!

(Must watch on YouTube – Can’t post)

The Skin of Palestine from Santiago Arcos on Vimeo.

The above video gets two (2) things wrong. The Palestino soccer club was formed in 1920. It went professional in the 1950s. There are actually around 500,000 Palestinians in Chile, not 400,000 – the number is hard to track down as the Palestinian-Chileans do intermarry with other ethnicities such as Spanish-, German-, and Italian-Chileans.

A look at the video above will show some of the fans to be of fair-skinned European and/or mestizo (part-Indian) stock. Though started by Palestinians, the team has a mainstream multi-ethnic fan base now.

However, the Palestino fans are highly politicized now; and fans – not all of whom are Arab – will wave the Palestinian flag. Notice also the black, red, green, and white flares the fans shoot up.

Clearly, these fans are Christians. No burqas or hijabs are to be seen, though stylish Keffiyiahs are worn as a sign of ethnic solidarity. One fan’s jersey (6:12) even displays an ad for CRISTAL, a Chilean beer – a definite no no in Islam, as Islam forbids alcohol.

So this team does NOT operate under Sharia law.

Most of the fans probably do not even speak Arabic and are generations removed from the Mideast. However, they still have a strong ethnic identification. I cannot vouch for how politicized they were decades ago. But they always wore the red, green, white, and black of the battle flag of the Arab Revolt in World War I, which is the source of the Palestinian flag.

Baisanos – Chilean Soccer Intifada

Their fans refer to themselves as Los Baisanos, which is a play on the Spanish word Paisanos, which means [fellow] countrymen. However, their Arab ancestors could not pronounce the P, which does not exist in Arabic, and would have mispronounced it as Baisanos. Generations later, they honor their ancestors by calling themselves Los Baisanos, and taking pride in their ancestors mispronunciation. You will also notice they use the term INTIFADA. They have become highly polticized against Israel.

This team has won national championships in Chile in 1955 and 1978. It even has its own cable program. And, they have a decent theme fight song.

Roberto Bishara, a team member and son of a Palestinian immigrant, has played on the National Palestinian Soccer Team as an exchange player.

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

They have a large fan base, on the other side of the planet, in the contested areas, where they are considered a second national soccer team.

Posted on YouTube: Dec 18, 2016

One thing that went unsaid in the video above is that the CD Palestino players are probably 100% Christian, while the Palestinian national team players are probably 100% Muslim. Historically, the Palestinians who went to Chile came from then Christian towns, so there is that bifurcation.

The team is famous all over the Mideast, and they have become sort of an international phenomenom. Those who support the Palestinian cause root for CD Palestino.

Posted on YouTube: July 10, 2013

A very highly politicized and famous Chilean football team.

May 12, 2017 – Edited: Moved page in menu – corrected links and text, removed some video, added text, image, and new video.