[This is a follow-up to a previous post, Israel's Arsenal and Arsenal's Israel's, about Arsenal FC's sponsorship deals with Dubai's al-Maktoum
crime syndicate family and with the Israeli Tourism Ministry, neither of which I, as an Arsenal supporter, could approve.]
On Wednesday, September 13th, Arsenal FC played Hamburg SV in the Champions' League in Hamburg, winning 1-2. Because both clubs are sponsored by Emirates Airline, Arsenal's logo was, as a one-off, changed to read 'Dubai'.
The following day it was reported that:
Dubai's ruler has been accused of enslaving thousands of young children for camel races in a class-action lawsuit filed in the US.
The action claims Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, his brother Hamdam and 500 others are responsible for abducting and trafficking the children. (..)
The children were said to be from Bangladesh, Sudan and southern Asia.
Once in Dubai, it is claimed that the children - some of them as young as two - were kept in poor conditions, starved (so as to keep their weight down), abused and forced to take part in a dangerous sport.
It's only a lawsuit, which has yet to be tried in court; on the other hand, it's the first stage towards a conviction. UAE/Dubai bans political parties and voting, its mosques are state-controlled and the internet is censored. If the Maktoums are also involved in child abduction, abuse and enslavement, I doubt whether the Arsenal board could care less (unless, of course, it led to bad publicity).
Meanwhile, Arsenal FC continues to be cagey about its dirty dealings with the Israeli Tourism Ministry (it's a topic never reported on its website). The idea, as I understand it, was to send planeloads of Gooners to act as human shields for the Zionist regime. Well, the Jerusalem Post reported on September 6th that,
The Tourism Ministry has delayed its advertising at Arsenal Football Club's new Emirates stadium fearing that a campaign promoting Israel might create negative sentiment in the UK after the war in Lebanon, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
"It was a mutual decision as we felt it wasn't the right time to start the campaign," Uzi Gafni, director of the Israeli government tourist office in the UK and Ireland told the Post. "Given how Israel was portrayed in the British media through the war, we felt it better to wait until the cease-fire agreement was secure, that Israel was out of the limelight for a while, before starting the promotions for fear of a negative reaction by the public here." (..)
For now, however, a visit to www.arsenal.com confirms that Israel remains absent from the football club's impressive list of sponsors.
Gafni said that Tourism Ministry representatives were scheduled to meet with Arsenal around mid-September and that the campaign should kick off at the club's home game on September 23 against Sheffield United.
He added that the government had received assurances that it would be compensated for the time lost on the deal.
The club said in response: "Arsenal is jointly evaluating with the Israel Tourist Board the position with regards to our relationship."
So, not only did Arsenal receive money from the Israeli Tourism Ministry, the club is also going to pay back money to the ITM as a result of the Israeli government's unjust assault on Lebanon and Hezbullah. I can see what the Zionist regime gets from the deal - but, apart from a heap of trouble, I can't see what benefit Arsenal gets from it whatsoever (except for those who are called to be human shields, for they will get a discount).
PS Note the JP report's choice of words, "the government had received assurances that ...", which makes explicit that this is a deal between Arsenal FC and the Israeli government.
Addendum: A (rather shrill) 'Boycott Israel' website has a 'Boycott Arsenal' campaign too. It adds this information to what I already knew.
The televised ads will reach audiences of up to 700 million in an estimated 198 countries. The Israeli Tourism Ministry will also receive intellectual property rights, the use of the team logo and the right to use photos of the team and its players in ads. For an additional fee, Arsenal players will also appear in the ads.
The deal doesn't stop with promoting Israel but actually grants Israel a physical presence in the stadium. The Israeli Tourism Ministry can use the stadium's banquet hall twice a year and can organize an exhibition at the end of the playing season. The stadium will also feature permanent sales tables for t-shirts.