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2018 Giro to start in Israel

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Mar 16, 2015
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I tell you this, next year Giro will celebrate the end of WW1 so it will be all about peace. I think it's nice to start with such a message in an area which has ignited a lot of conflicts and still bears the scars.
 
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hrotha said:
It's different because, in the case of Palestine, some of the people who were dispossessed and displaced are still alive and not allowed to return. But yes, obviously there's a lot of double standards involved when people talk about Israel. Some of them are justified, in that we hold Israel to democratic standards that don't necessarily apply to their neighbours, but some are more sinister than that.
One could be cheeky and say that if only Israel had been more 'successful' (and that it had been older), most in the west would be totally fine with it.
 
Jun 15, 2013
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Another difference (between Israel and some other imperialist west countries are that historically, the Jewish people lived in Israel (Palestine) and then were exhaled to the diaspora, so the Palestinians (which are rather new as 'People') has far less roots in this land, and as an entirety, the Arabs have far more land around Israel. It's also worth to mention that the Arabs themselves rejected the UN's partition plan and started a war with us, which we won.

As an Israeli, I'm fully aware of the moral issues this situation arises, the poverty in which most Palestinians live in, and the sacrifices both sides made and still are, but really, most of the claims (apartheid?!?!) against us are simply wrong or antisemitic.
 
Ruby United and amih77,

What Israel's neighbouring countries have or haven't done is of no concern to me and neither is how much better or worse they are than Israel. This is a start in Israel so it is Israel that should be under scrutiny.

I am in no way antisemitic nor anti-Israeli and I won't accept such insults. What I am is anti-Zionist, anti-war, anti-terror, anti-cruelty and pro-PEACE. I have nothing against the Israeli people and the Jewish population around the world but I have a major issue with the Israeli army and government. I realise that in a conflict both sides are usually in the wrong and it is no different here, Hamas are terrorists and I have no sympathy for them. However my heart bleeds for the hundreds and hundreds of innocent men, women and children that have been slaughtered in this conflict throughout the years. It is no secret that most of these people were Palestinians.

The Israeli goverment and army are in my opinion guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The occupation, the blockades and the killing must stop. The only way to achieve this is if the international community sends a clear message - this is NOT okay. What does not send that message is allowing them to host a big sporting event. I don't like politics entering sports but in this case I feel the decision should be reconsidered.
For the record, I would be as much opposed to a start in Turkey, Qatar, Iran or Russia, for example. This is the Giro d'Italia, I understand that every once in a while it's good to have a start in another country, but please leave these countries aside. It doesn't make sense from a logistic perspective, nor from a political perspective, nor from a sports perspective.
https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/israel-and-occupied-palestinian-territories/report-israel-and-occupied-palestinian-territories/
 
Jun 15, 2013
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Florecita,

I didn't have an intention to mix a political debate into this forum and already wrote that from sporting perspective i don't like it. Moreover, I agree with your first paragraph.

However, I don't know which insults you're talking about but imho it is a rather superficial approach to decide upon which is the "right" side just by counting the victims. I.e It is well known that Hamas is shooting missiles to Israeli cities (civilians) from schools/hospitals etc. that way it is a win-win situation: either Israeli army won't strike back, or it will with civilians casualties that picture "well". I totally disagree with your claims on the Israeli government/army and I think they are a result of lack of knowledge and biased reporting. The UN itself is biased against Israel so its so called "objective data" is biased too. Amnesty is an organization with a very strong agenda - I hope we can agree on that.

Truth of the matter is that the EU have gave billions to Gaza - most of which ended in the corrupted Palestinian leadership pockets. It's only until that Europe will start putting pressure on the Palestinians to go forward (and stop mostly automatically condemn Israel) that they will have any incentive to do so.

I don't know if you've ever visited here or tried to learn the subject with open mind - I think you should before making such harsh accusations. Our hand is to peace at least as their's but we are entitled to self defense.
 
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amih77 said:
Florecita,

I didn't have an intention to mix a political debate into this forum and already wrote that from sporting perspective i don't like it. Moreover, I agree with your first paragraph.

However, I don't know which insults you're talking about but imho it is a rather superficial approach to decide upon which is the "right" side just by counting the victims. I.e It is well known that Hamas is shooting missiles to Israeli cities (civilians) from schools/hospitals etc. that way it is a win-win situation: either Israeli army won't strike back, or it will with civilians casualties that picture "well". I totally disagree with your claims on the Israeli government/army and I think they are a result of lack of knowledge and biased reporting. The UN itself is biased against Israel so its so called "objective data" is biased too. Amnesty is an organization with a very strong agenda - I hope we can agree on that.

Truth of the matter is that the EU have gave billions to Gaza - most of which ended in the corrupted Palestinian leadership pockets. It's only until that Europe will start putting pressure on the Palestinians to go forward (and stop mostly automatically condemn Israel) that they will have any incentive to do so.

I don't know if you've ever visited here or tried to learn the subject with open mind - I think you should before making such harsh accusations. Our hand is to peace at least as their's but we are entitled to self defense.
Everyone is biased, except the people who see it the same way you do - OK, got it. There are plenty of Israeli's that disagree with you, probably also biased and should visit the country.

These Giro starts in faraway places are farcical, but now they also become political. Idiotic thinking by the organisers. Maybe spent too much time watching Eurosport and succumbed to the 'two cities, one break' ads.
 
Have no problem with GTs making visits to other countries either during a stage, as a depart or finish of a stage.

Have no problem with GT "Grand Departs" from another continental Euro country maybe one year in three for each respective GT.

A Grand Depart from Euro nations further afield such as UK or Ireland, maybe once/twice at most per decade per GT

Grand Departs from such places as USA, CHN etc are just ridiculous from a logistic sense and shouldn't be serious considered.

This proposition ? In an ideal world where the Middle East was demostrably at peace and the Palestinian situation resolved then I would give serious consideration at least, maybe say yes. But that is not the reality of now OR the short/medium term and should therefore be a "no go".
 
Jul 19, 2015
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Lol I can't wait for first stage of Tour de France to start in Beijing or some other place on whole another continent due to marketing reasons.
 
The security issue is worrying, of course, but suggesting caving to terrorists even more so. And while there has likely been more casualties from terror in France than in Israel the last few years, no one is suggesting moving the Tour to Iceland or something.

Of course Israel has its issues, and those are important, but I've always found attitudes towards Israel weirdly overwrought. Surely they shouldn't go over occupied zones, but I think all involved are smart enough to know that. Again, the next two World Cups are in Russia and Qatar. Which is fine. I'm sure there will be plenty of media coverage of relevant human rights issues (if you follow most sporting journalists a lot of them are quite open about their politics). But for all the failings of the Olympic movement and international sporting bodies, using sport to unite us rather than divide us is something they have delivered on. And I think that's a really good thing in the long run.

And I like the overseas aventure. I found Ireland a much nicer place (particularly for cycling) than I thought. Every other year seems fine, although probably every three or four years would be better. I'd enjoy getting a glimpse at the scenery in Israel, seems like there are enough hills to make a few stages fun. We'll still get more than a glimpse at the Italian countryside and mountains later on.

And finally, I love the Bartali angle, even though it will surely be exploited to death. He was well before my time but is still IMHO the truest champion cycling ever had.
 
Jul 3, 2017
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This is a phenomenally bad idea.

There is no way the Giro can go to Israel without it becoming highly politicised. The following things will occur politically if the plan proceeds.

The Government of Israel will hail the decision claiming it 'proves' that the BDS movement is on its last legs, that Israel is recognised as a international sporting venue and that Israel is a beacon of stability, democracy and freedom in the middle east.

The Government of the West Bank, i.e. the PLO, will express concerns and raise at various UN fora the illegitimacy of using any part of Jerusalem that they will view as seeking to cement a legitimacy by Israel on the soverginity of the city.

Pro Palestinian organisations, particularly in Europe will mobilise massive recourses, manpower and time into trying to organise a boycott - putting pressure on the teams, individual riders and their sponsors. A potential boycott that the likes of Bora, Sunweb, AG2R etc could really do without.

Pro Israeli organistions, their embassies and Israeli 'internet activists' will counter with their own campaigns aimed at the same teams, individual riders and their sponsors.

A boycott of the event by Bahrain Merida and UAE world tour teams causing a crisis in UCI.

A boycott by other riders or even teams citing 'security concerns'

A boycott by some riders on the basis of their own political beliefs.

If then it still goes ahead in what will be by now a highly charged event the following will definitely happen.

A security lockdown of unprecedented proportions of all of the West Bank, East Jersulaem and the Gaza Strip by heavily armed Israeli security which will disrupt, antagonise and negate any possible goodwill that the event could bring.

And the following could happen.

One of the more extreme armed groups (not Hamas or anyone from PA) could decide to disrupt the race by either an attack or just the threat of an attack.

And the final reason is that Israel Cycling Academy would get a wild card entry and they definitely are no good enough.

So all in all a bad, bad, bad idea the only possible beneficiaries of which are RCS who stand to get some cash for their coffers from the Israeli State. For all else its just a load of grief and worry.

In this case it is literally not possible to separate the sporting from the politics as, following an official announcement that the Giro will start in Israel in 2018, if the race proceeds that will be used to make a political point and if the race doesn't proceed as planned that will equally used to make a political point.
 
Re:

amih77 said:
I don't know if you've ever visited here or tried to learn the subject with open mind - I think you should before making such harsh accusations. Our hand is to peace at least as their's but we are entitled to self defense.

Well Israel killed over 2,300 people in Gaza (mostly civilians) in 2014 compared to what? 3 or 4 people killed in Israel.... Israel is obviously very good at 'defending' itself.
 
If this Giro plan were just a team time-trial held in Israel under high-security conditions, could see that as a reasonable decision. But two road stages and a TTT ?

If a non-European nation wants to host the start of a GT, then they want to get the most out of it, with most local exposure, that part makes sense. But conversely, it makes the Giro such an obvious target for protests or terrorism.

Whether or not the perception of risk is justified, that is going to be one immediate thought that leaps to mind for the cyclists. They already face dangerous crowds in every GT stage, in every country. But these routes must be somewhat unnerving.

Also it must be a pain for them to have to answer endless journalists' questions about the location. The whole thread above shows how easily anything they say in their response can be politicized.
 
Re: Re:

Another disgraceful episode in the history of our regularly disgraceful sport.

We have dictatorships and kleptocracies sponsoring teams, we had the UCI sanctioning a Tour of a racist party's imaginary homeland in Italy and a long time head of the UCI who was banned from the Olympics for breaking the boycott of apartheid South Africa. So why not turn the Giro into a propaganda event for Israeli colonialism too? It is perfectly in keeping with the ethical and moral standards we have come to expect from the people running pro cycling.
 
Hi all,

For the moment we're locking this thread while we split it out. We don't want to kill the discussion but this is the PRR forum and this has clearly become a political discussion.

We'll start a political concerns in cycling thread in the cafe using this as the basis for it, it would be appreciated if you kept posts in it as related to cycling as possible, although we know that some deviation will happen when discussing such broad issues. I'm guessing most posts are going to be shifted there.

This thread will remain purely to discuss the cycling aspect of this, should it happen.

Any
 
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