Belfast Telegraph

Protest to be held at Belfast McDonald's over Northern Ireland vs Israel match

By Gareth Cross

A group which advocates the boycott of Israeli products is to hold a protest outside a west Belfast McDonald's against the fast-food firm's sponsorship of the Irish Football Association (IFA).

BDS Ireland is hosting the protest to call on McDonald's to end its sponsorship of the IFA unless the organisation cancels its upcoming friendly with Israel at Windsor Park on Tuesday, September 11.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a global campaign which promotes various boycotts against Israel due to its treatment of Palestine over disputed lands in the West Bank area.

The protest is taking place at the McDonald's in Kennedy Way, west Belfast on Tuesday between 7.30pm and 8.30pm.

McDonald's has been the IFA's community partner for over 12 years.

Sinn Fein has also called on the IFA to cancel the game in protest against the violence between Israel and Palestine in the Gaza region.

And over 5,000 people have signed a petition calling on the IFA to cancel the game.

The Northern Ireland Friends of Israel group said attempts to "politicise the game were sad" while the IFA said the game will go ahead and for them the fixture was just another football game.

"The IFA holding a 'friendly' match with Israel sends the message that Israel’s indiscriminate slaughter of Palestinians is acceptable and gives Israel a green light to continue its crimes, with impunity," a BDS Ireland spokesperson said.

"These Israeli sporting events are part of the Israeli Government's 'sports-washing' propaganda strategy, which exploits sporting events to hide its systemic human rights abuses against Palestinians.

"Palestinian civil society has called for no business as usual with Israel as long as it denies Palestinians their human rights.

"There's nothing friendly about the murder of children."

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