Shalom Life | March 30, 2014

Chilean Soccer Jerseys Offensive to Jewish Community

The new jerseys for the Chilean Palestino team show the numeral 1 in the shape of Israel and Palestinian territories, implying that all the land belongs to Palestine

By: Daniel Koren

Published: January 7th, 2014 in Sports » World

Anti-Semitic rhetoric in sports has been an unfavorable recent trend, it seems, from Tony Parker and Nicolas Anelka brandishing the quenelle salute, to a Dutch soccer team playing on in Abu Dhabi after their Israeli defender was refused entry.

Now, a new soccer jersey for Chile's Palestino soccer club has offended the country's Jewish community, inciting a rift between them and the country's Palestinian community.

The new jersey showcases the Palestino logo, which has been intact since it was first founded in 1920 by a group of Chilean Palestinian immigrants, but differs from older versions of the jersey when it comes to the numeral '1'.

The numeral is designed in the shape of Israel and the Palestinian territories, potentially implying that the State of Israel never came into existence in 1948, and that all the land currently belongs to Palestine.

In an interview with the Associated Press, President of Chile's Jewish community, Gerardo Gorodischer, said that they demand an apology from the Palestino soccer club, and has also asked Chile's soccer association to prohibit the shirts from being worn as they don't acknowledge Israel.

"Irresponsible managers from the Palestino club carried out a move against Chile's entire Jewish community," he added via Twitter. "This is a black day for Chilean soccer and I expect the Palestino team to be punished."

Chile's Palestinian Federation responded in a statement that confirms their support of the new jersey. Chile's Palestinian community stands as one of the largest in the world, with over 350,000.

Palestino debuted the new shirt during its match against Everton; Palestino won 4-0.

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