Will Arsenal's defences hold?
The Arsenal football club is about to have a huge test match.
A coalition of British Muslim groups and pro-Palestinian activists in London are calling for Arsenal Football Club to rescind its sponsorship deal with the Israeli Tourism Ministry.Can their defences hold up to a concerted muslim attack?
"We would like the Arsenal Board to pull out of the sponsorship deal," Betty Hunter, General Secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign [PSC] told the Jerusalem Post, saying they had initiated a letter writing campaign to convince players, the Football Association, and Arsenal to kill the deal before the start of the new season in August.
On February 26 the Tourism Ministry announced the 350,000 sponsorship deal that makes Israel the club's "official and exclusive travel destination" next season. Advertisements promoting travel to Israel will be broadcast at team's new Emirates stadium in London in addition to billboards, with banners on Arsenal's website and in the club's magazine.
"We are getting reports that a number of Arsenal supporters are utterly shocked" by the deal, Ms. Hunter said. The PSC encouraged supporters to write to Arsenal saying, "Israel is a racist apartheid state which is consistently in breach of international law in its human rights abuses; and that such a deal endangers Arsenal's anti-racist reputation".