Viva Palestina and Gaza GAA


éirígí have a piece on an Irish contingent joining the Viva Palestina convoy setting off to bring aid to Gaza.

‘The Irish contingent alone – travelling from Cork, Derry, Galway and Tyrone – is made up of two ambulances, a minibus and a truck loaded with over 10 tonnes of humanitarian aid.

They will also be bringing goalposts, jerseys and training materials donated by the GAA to aid in the development of the Gaza GAA Club. The club was set up by Tyrone man John Hurson, who participated in the first convoy, to help bring some sense of normality to the lives of the children of Gaza. Noam Chomsky and All-Ireland winning footballer Peter Canavan are presidents of the club.”

John’s efforts to bring proper football to abnormal lives forced on children are also endorsed by ‘This Blog’ (Gerry Adams):

‘Present at the dedication event on Thursday was John Hurson, from Tyrone. John has been fiercely active in support of the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip. John was telling this blog about his plan to establish a GAA club in Gaza within the existing Gaza Sporting Club. Noam Chomsky, internationally renowned philosopher and political activist has agreed to participate and John has also secured the support of GAA activists, including Peter Canavan. This blog fully supports his efforts.’

  • RepublicanStones
  • OC

    Does setting of a suicide bomb get a yellow, or a red flag?

  • Shalom

    @ OC

    That’s a definite red.

    Though there’s extra points for any sort of bomb if you’re a neocon mate. The referee never sees those.

  • Big bopper

    GAA supporting terrorism, what a surprise.

    I take it the Viva is a Vauxhall.

    How are the GAA/Eirigi supplies to the Taleban/AlQueda going? I assume they’ve abandoned Sendero Luminoso as being too non Catholic.
    How is the aid progressing to the Catholic Church abuse victims in the irish Republic going? Don’t see any reference.
    Again no surprise.

  • Manufacturing Consent

    Good ole Noam.

    It must have been forty years ago William F Buckley threatened you with “a slap in the mouth” on live TV, and all because your argument was better than his, and he knew it, and he’d nothing else to say.

    But sadly, as we’ve seen since, the biggest slappers always seem to keep on winning.

    Kinda kicks Mick’s “ball not man” into touch…

  • RepublicanStones

    Care to explain bopper how the GAA is supporting terrorism with this initiative?

  • Manufacturing Dissent

    I suspect big bopper is of the slapper fraternity, and even less embarrassable than Mr Buckley.

    Some men just don’t have any balls to play.

  • Richard Aardvark

    Big Bopper,

    It was Gore Vidal that Buckley threatened to “sock in the face”.

    As for Chomsky you don’t seriously think someone who was an apologist for Serbian ethnic cleansing has the right outlook?

  • Jimmy

    Bad PR move by the GAA, what does this say about impartiality? As a ‘National’ Irish sporting movement it should have no truck with other people’s internal affairs. It also does not say a lot to Protestants when the GAA is actively getting involved in a Terrorist enclave that lobs bombs into Israel. Let’s face it Gaza has absolutely nothing to do or in common with the GAA. So its agenda must be Political and not humanitarian. Parallels could be drawn with the Orange Order, is it a Religious organisation or a Political one? and does it support a people on the other side of the world that have a militant Christian army? No?
    Then compare with the GAA, is it a Sporting organisation or a politically biased one that supports a Muslim enclave that has a Militant Islamic Terrorist army? Bringing aid is no excuse that is a Job for the UN and other Muslim countries. The GAA must know that it’s not like sending food aid to a famine hit part of Africa, this is Gaza the most politically sensitive place in the world.

    Gaza is a problem between Jew and Muslim; the Muslim world should be helping Gaza. What does that say about the gullibility of the participants?
    I also find the involvement of Noam Chomsky pathetic, a Marxist dupe, a person whose beliefs and ideals that came to nothing and then saw the absolute hegemony of the ideas he was opposed too. He lacks moral authority to be involved in this charade. This convoy lacks legitimacy.
    This convoy is a pathetic attempt by idealists and simple reactionaries to one of the very last issues that the left desperately want to cling on too as it fulfils and legitimises their Marxist Internationalist beliefs. Sorry but these guys are fools and dupes.

    This is what Islam says about Playing sport, is GAA an infidel sport btw?
    Pay careful attention to point 6.
    1. his attire conforms to Shari regulations;
    2. his involvement in such a sport does not make him negligent of his religious obligations;
    3. no form of gambling is involved in such an activity;
    4. he does not become the cause of others neglecting their religious duties;
    5. intermingling of sexes does not take place;
    6. his intention be solely to build the physique in preparation for Jihâd.

  • Marty McG

    I trust the Gaza GAA don’t score any own goals…..they were good at it when sending missiles into Northern Israel, but got a bigger one back…..it’s wonderful how the ‘oirsh’ republicans love to support the terrorists in the middle east….but then so many of them supported the terrorists here in ‘oirland’ with many continuing to do so.

  • impressed

    that’s really clever, marty, that ‘oir’ stuff.

    and funny.

    get out much?

  • RepublicanStones

    It also does not say a lot to Protestants when the GAA is actively getting involved in a Terrorist enclave that lobs bombs into Israel

    What problem have protestants got with the Palestinians? Is this the lost tribe of Israel thing again?

    So its agenda must be Political and not humanitarian.

    Helping the palestinians is humanitarian. Its just supporters of Israel like to politicise everything.

    that supports a Muslim enclave that has a Militant Islamic Terrorist army?

    Several ignorant points raised there need addressing. First, why is it you think Hamas came into being? Did they just appear out of think air one day? Secondly, there are christian palestinians as well. But it seems you’re more than happy to buy into the product which you’re being sold here in the west.
    That being Israel = Good little David
    Palestinians = Nasty evil muslims

    Gaza is a problem between Jew and Muslim

    Gaza is not between Jews and Muslims. There are plenty of jews round the world who deplore what Israel is doing. Plus yet again you ignore the existence of Palestinian christians.

    As regards your cherry picking of Islam, the same can be done with sections of the Bible, or even the Torah and Talmud but in doing so one would be labelled anti-semitc, so what does that make you?

    they were good at it when sending missiles into Northern Israel

    Actually Marty McG Sderot and Ashkelon are in central Israel. Nevermind the fact that it was actually Israel who broke the ceasefire on Nov 4th 2008 with an incursion into Gaza killing six. The world happened to be transfixed with a certain election over the pond and this went unnoticed by most, but you’ve never been to good with facts Marty, have you?

    I think when people began harping on about Palestinian Terrorism, its pertinent to remind ourselves of the real nature and genisis of the conflict, as Ben-Gurion himself admitted…

    “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.”

  • Neil

    Bad PR move by the GAA, what does this say about impartiality?

    What the fuck has that got to do with anything? The GAA are not journalists, they do not have to appear impartial. Many premiership football clubs support many different charities, what of their impartiality? What of it indeed, football clubs do not have to remain impartial either and are entitled to support whichever charitable causes they please.

    That aside what they are doing is akin to setting up a football club, which presumably you could do without express permission from FIFA. So the guy’s setting up an amateur GAA club. That’s really nothing to do with the GAA as an organisation. Anyone can set up a club.

    The remainder of your post is simply narrow minded and spiteful. The world at large realises and accepts that Israel commits war crimes against Palestinians. You would no doubt say the Palestinians should allow the military might of Israel to win out, and simply remain as a beaten entity much as you would no doubt have hoped Republicans here would have done.

    Any charitable efforts to help the people of Palestine should be lauded. It is more telling in regard to Unionist knee jerk reactions, that when Republicans express solidarity, Loyalists feel that despite the international opinion regarding Israel’s murder of innocent children and civilians, they must express support for the opposite side.

    When Republicans displayed their support for Palestinians, Loyalists immediately piggy backed on the Israel band wagon. Intellectually bankrupt, bitter & sad.

  • Glencoppagagh

    GAA in Gaza? Utterly ludicrous. It won’t last six months. GAA just doesn’t travel well.

  • Manufacturing Consent

    @ Aardvark

    “It was Gore Vidal that Buckley threatened to “sock in the face”.”

    He threatened him too!!

    Buckley lost a lot of arguments, for obvious reasons.

    “As for Chomsky you don’t seriously think someone who was an apologist for Serbian ethnic cleansing has the right outlook?”

    Where did he do this apologising?

  • OC

    Who knows? Maybe hurling will really take off in Bazookastan?

  • Greenflag

    Well done the GAA. The two ambulances , minibus and the 10 tonnes of humanitarian aid should be of great aid to the Gazans the next time the Israelis decide to kill a thousand or two thousand civilians .

    The ‘hurley’ sticks will prove of no dfensive worth against F 16 fighter planes or phosphorus bombs .

    The jerseys will of course be used by Palestinian kids to play soccer 😉

    Well done too to Noam Chomsky for supporting this small effort to relieve the Israeli ‘siege’ of Gaza .

    But will they get through to Gaza ? The Israelis have turned away a US Congresswoman so why would they not turn away a GAA aid team ?

  • Democratic

    “that when Republicans express solidarity, Loyalists feel that despite the international opinion regarding Israel’s murder of innocent children and civilians, they must express support for the opposite side.”

    You obviously don’t feel that no-warning bombs in shopping centres, nightspots, town centres etc against Israeli civilians by those who wished to destroy their state struck a cord with anyone in Loyalist communities then Neil?
    Apart from this point you may be surprised to find that I largely agree with the rest of your post….

  • RepublicanStones

    Would you advocate arming the Palestinians in the manner in which Israel has been armed Democratic? Or is firing hellfire rockets from 1000 feet up and 2 miles out somehow morally superior?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    GF: “Well done the GAA. The two ambulances , minibus and the 10 tonnes of humanitarian aid should be of great aid to the Gazans the next time the Israelis decide to kill a thousand or two thousand civilians .”

    Does this mean that HAMAS will stop “borrowing” UN ambulances to transport suicide bombers and the like?

    RS: “Would you advocate arming the Palestinians in the manner in which Israel has been armed Democratic? Or is firing hellfire rockets from 1000 feet up and 2 miles out somehow morally superior? ”

    To the first, nah — the buggers couldn’t manage to maintain a high-end tank — probably just break it up for scrap and loot, like they did the greenhouses.

    As for the other, it at least has the benefit of being aimed, as opposed to sending Achmed in with a bomb-vest on the orders of a “any yid will do” target mission…

  • Democratic

    “Would you advocate arming the Palestinians in the manner in which Israel has been armed Democratic? Or is firing hellfire rockets from 1000 feet up and 2 miles out somehow morally superior?”

    No it isn’t and I don’t advocate anything RS – I merely suggested that Neil’s assertation that Loyalist sympathy towards Israel’s position was merely to counter-balance Republican sympathy toward the Palestinians in Gaza which is of course is well-told mythology by Nationalists – don’t mistake this as me giving my best wishes towards those in the Israeli military who would all too often target and punish the innocent…..

  • Toffee Nose

    This thread shows why Loyalist Protestants are the moral pariahs that they are. Well done the GAA.

  • Jihad’s Best Muckers!

    I wonder if the GAA shirts they supplied were those hunger striker memorial efforts O’Neill’s were advertising a couple of years back and struggled to sell…..might be a good place to offload them!
    I wonder if the Taliban controlled provinces in Afganistan are next on for the GAA’s “to do” list?

  • Neil

    You obviously don’t feel that no-warning bombs in shopping centres, nightspots, town centres etc against Israeli civilians by those who wished to destroy their state struck a cord with anyone in Loyalist communities then Neil?

    That’s a fair point, and one which I honestly had never even thought of. I had always had it in my head as a Pavlovian response to what people on my side of the fence were up to.

  • Brian MacAodh

    Why is GAA doing this? There are plenty of starving people in africa they could be helping. Gaza is getting enough aid, not to mention it is a black hole of violence, oppression, and terrorism.

    Very, very poor decision.

    Are their not needy people in Ireland???

  • Democratic

    That’s understandable enough Neil as it is a popular myth on your side of the fence – but it is untrue I assure you.
    A lot of people here on both sides see the Israel/Palestine question in the same light as our own little mess – for me though the Middle-Eastern version is a much more complex, larger, tragic and more pressing concern than our own – but perhaps unlike our own problems there may never be a civilised outcome over there and no end to the sporadic cyclic violence which may well wax and wane for all time unfortunately.

  • Brian MacAodh

    there*

  • The Truth

    Looks like the GAA are putting their politics into their sport as usual despite constantly proclaiming to be non-political organisation solely interested in preserving historic Irish cultural and sporting activities. Perhaps as another poster has said if they were undertaking similar ventures in other parts of the world were suffering was rife then this gesture would not have seemed so partisan.

  • RepublicanStones

    To the first, nah—the buggers couldn’t manage to maintain a high-end tank—probably just break it up for scrap and loot, like they did the greenhouses.

    As for the other, it at least has the benefit of being aimed, as opposed to sending Achmed in with a bomb-vest on the orders of a “any yid will do” target mission…

    Nice bit of Orientalism there Dread. And its funny but it seems more often than not that those ‘aimed’ missiles hit civilian targets.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/784358.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/23/gaza-war-crimes-medics

    Of course your going to come back with the Hamas hiding behind civilians. Which I guess the french resistance were guilty of as well. But whats interesting…..

    http://www.palestinechronicle.com/uploads/1256368345israel_human_shields.jpg

    http://www.mangochico.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/ege3uu.jpg

    And it seems some people still aren’t aware of the Nov 4th 2008 Israeli initiation of hostilities. (Well actually it goes back further to coveting another mans land…but thats another story)

    As regards the Achmed with the bomb vest Dread, former speaker of the Knesset Avraham Burg recognises a need to understand the act instead of just sitting comfortably at home condemning Palestinians…

    ‘Israel, having ceased to care about the children of the Palestinians, should not be surprised when they come washed in hatred and blow themselves up in the centres of Israeli escapism. They consign themselves to Allah in our places of recreation, because their own lives are torture. They spill their own blood in our restaurants in order to ruin our appetites, because they have children and parents at home who are hungry and humiliated. We could kill a thousand ringleaders a day and nothing will be solved, because the leaders come up from below – from the wells of hatred and anger, from the “infrastructures” of injustice and moral corruption.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/comment/0,10551,1042071,00.html.

    With Ben-Gurion himself admitting zionism was the agressor, we still have people denying the blatant truth.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    RS: “Nice bit of Orientalism there Dread. And its funny but it seems more often than not that those ‘aimed’ missiles hit civilian targets.”

    No, simply an extrapolation, based on past behavior. The greenhouses were left there, intact, to provide a base of industry for the Gazans, after much scenery moving and fund-raising to provide them, the Gazans, with something constructive. In their infinite wisdom, the Gazans looted the greenhouses — short-term gain by some at the expense of the populace at large.

    As for the rockets, are you suggesting that HAMAS *always* avoids setting up mortars and rocket launchers well away from civilian centers. HAMAS uses civilians as cover. Then again, HAMAS also sends kids with rocks to harry AFVs.

  • Wilde Rover
  • Trev

    This has feck all to do with aid. Everyone knows that this is about a confrontation on the border, and the media will just happen to be there to film it all.

    The poor Gazans, not only cannon fodder for Hamas in its confrontation with Israel but also the totem for any and all travelling leftie circus freaks.

    The ‘non-political’ GAA teaming-up with EricHee? Well blow me down (not up please)!

    A part of me hopes they do get it. I’d love to be present when Fighting-With-Sticks is explained as a ‘sport’ and how “proper football” is played by carrying the ball around in the hands.

  • RepublicanStones

    Nice the way you employ the term ‘Gazans’ Dread. I suppose the entire population of Gaza is employed with the struggle against Israel.

    I expect you think Hamas should abandon guerilla warfare and don big red jackets and march toward the siege fence 3 abreast with muskets blasting. Hamas operate in urban areas which can be nicely ‘re-euphemised’ by the pro-Israel boyos as ‘using human shields’, whereas Israel actually do use Humans as shields. And yet no accpetance nevermind criticism of Israel yet again initiating the most recent round of the bunfight. Just condemnation for Hamas for daring to retaliate. I suppose thats to be expected. No context, no analysis, just an image of an arab, face wrapped in a keffeyia with a rocket on his shoulder, thats all that matters to some.

  • An Lorgain

    [url=http://djiin.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/dailymail_humanshield.jpg]Israel using a 13 year old boy as human shield[/url]

    Something the British also did with Arabs 60 years ago.

  • Koko Schka

    These people would be more productive working for 3 weeks and sending their wages instead of the 6,000 pounds (reported in the Derry Journal) they raised.

    This is an active of attention rather than salvation.
    There are more effective way of giving to charity.

  • Yakin

    I hope the IDF are warming up the F-18s. Give them a hell(fire) of a welcome.

  • RepublicanStones

    Aren’t Hellfires a helicopter specific weapon?

    But hey, nice of you to advocate slaughtering people.

  • Yakin

    Damn! I hoped you’d come back into the open when the fast-air flew off and then you’d be popped by the Apache hovering below the horizon.

  • John Hurson

    Folks, some of the comments posted here are not only disgusting, but show no lack of respect to either the living or dead in Palestine and Israel.
    Shame on you for such remarks.

    My name is John Hurson, from Dungannon. Late last January, Israel launched a 22 day assult on Gaza, which left over 1,400 dead, including 400 children. Watching this unfold on the TV, and the lack of remorse been shown, as children were killed with chemical weapons in their schools, just horrified me.

    Feeling the incredible urge to in someway do something constructive for the people in Gaza, I got a truck, and in 6 days, filled it with aid, and drove it 6,000 miles over 25 days, through 11 countries from Tyrone To Gaza.

    In those 6 days, hundreds of people came from all over Ireland to bring blankets, clothes, medicine, toys, tools, and numerous other items to send to the homeless and injured in Gaza.
    I joined a convoy on February 14th in the UK, and it consisted of 125 vehicles and 250 people.

    On March 10th we all drove through the Rafah Border, and the sights we witnessed were just horrific. Nothing we saw on TV came close to the real picture. On the 10 mile journey into Gaza city, everything we could see was either flattened or damaged. It was just numbing to see the effects of the attacks.

    I spent 3 days there, and I witnessed sights that I hope never to see again. Nothing was spared. Schools, hospitals, apartments, factories, houses, farm buildings, etc etc, were all destroyed. Just unbelievable. The whole of the Gaza Strip was hit heavily. No one stood a chance. There was no where to go as they were all locked inside the strip, with all exits blocked.

    As part of my aid, I had 1,500 sports jerseys that had been donated by rugby clubs, soccer clubs, GAA clubs, and from O’Neill’s. To go to a local school and deliver some of these tops to schools kids was just amazing. To see them pull on their new tops and go out and play football with massive smiles was very emotional, to say the least.

    This is the reason why i’m establishing a GAA club in Gaza. It’s my way of bringing a smile to childrens faces for a few hours a week. Through DVD’s, children can learn the skills of a new game, and give them a new focus through the power of sport. Give them a diversion from the difficulties they face on a daily basis. I have goalposts and footballs on the way to Gaza on the current convoy, and I intend to fly out at Christmas to meet up with them, and enter Gaza.

    I can’t wait to go back to that school with the goalposts, new footballs, jerseys, and see those kids faces…..

    So, go ahead and make your jokes about people helping out others in their hour of need. you will only look foolish, and display a very low respect for humanity. I went to Gaza with aid because I cared for them, and for the sake of humanity.

    25 years ago, Bob Geldof put together Band aid for an African country who needed help.

    A few years ago, people all over the world donated to viticms of the Sunami.

    Today, people help the stricken people in Gaza, and people make fun of it. Shame on you, shame on you, shame on you.

    Show some respect for humanity. That way, the world would be a safer and more peaceful place to live in.

    This is an example of the Egyptians taking aid of our vehicles before entering Gaza:

    Caoimhe Butterly describes the destruction in Gaza:

    John Hurson
    Tyrone

  • al

    Fair point John but you did become a bit holywood at the end

  • John

    Fair play John – 100% behind you.

  • Democratic

    Hi John,
    Well done on your recent charity work. (I mean that!)
    However can I ask why you chose to aid the stricken and suffering in Gaza over other area and peoples in similar need in any number of international hotspots? Would you freely admit that personal politics played a role along with your obvious and laudable humanitarian concerns.
    Do you have a role within the GAA itself in this regard?

  • John

    Just came across this picture of Robbo on the Israeli-Palestinian border in the 1970s… what is he doing with an AK?

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00059/peter_59069s.jpg

  • Driftwood

    Tne next GAA terror trip will probably be to Bilbao and their ETA mates. Don’t they usually use trawlers for transport.
    Is the Eksund still available?

  • Smug O’Tool

    Hi John,

    Fair play to you mate. You seen an injustice in this world and you did what you could to help.

    May I make a suggestion on somewhere else which could use your help?

    Basically there’s this tiny, tiny and insignificant corner of the world where the poor folk are so delusional, they think the rest of the world spins around them. These people have just come out of over 30 years of slaughtering each other for next to no reason. The blood they covered themselves in has congealed now, hardening in their nostrils so they can’t smell their own stink. Whilst the rest of civilisation is shocked by their barbaric and myopic attitudes, the last shred of humanity and decency disappears from their dead eyes.
    They are like the walking dead now. The only sign of life comes from when they come across certain symbols or letters of the alphabet arranged in a certain order. When this occurs some base instinct takes over inside them, turning them into unfeeling animals as they knee jerk all over the place, like a puking zombie. Beware of the bile which excretes from where their mouth used to be, as it is quite toxic and is known to be contagious.
    I’m afraid these poor animals are beyond charity now. Any day now, they will go back to the one thing they ever done well; killing each other. But isn’t this what animals do in territorial disputes? Mark the territory, kill all outsiders.

    My proposal is that we raise enough money to allow a cage to be built around their habitat for fear of this terrible disease spreading to the rest of humanity. It’s too late for those poor sods, but not for the rest of us.

  • Democratic

    “I’m afraid these poor animals are beyond charity now. Any day now, they will go back to the one thing they ever done well; killing each other. But isn’t this what animals do in territorial disputes? Mark the territory, kill all outsiders.”

    An ironic post which although obviously aimed at residents “here” could easily be speaking about the situation in Israel/Palestine…..smug indeed!

    “My proposal is that we raise enough money to allow a cage to be built around their habitat for fear of this terrible disease spreading to the rest of humanity”

    I’m sure the residents of Gaza are familiar with this logic too…..

  • Smug O’Tool

    I’m sure they are familiar Democratic. Maybe Banksy can come over and paint the inside with some high-brow graffiti, instead of allowing the inhabitants to paint the usual Billy/Provo muck.

  • O’Donoghue

    Maybe the Gaza team will be eligible to play in the Martin Hurson memorial cup, eh John?

  • Somewhere else

    Thanks for posting that youtube clip about what happened to the convey in Egypt John…I wasn’t aware of that.

    I was considering going to Sharm-el-Sheik this January but I can assure you that it is 100% NOT happening.

    Truly disgusting.

  • Frank

    O’Donoghue, since no one in Gaza has been allowed to leave Gaza in over 3 years, and no sign of them getting out anytime soon, I doubt they will be going to many tournaments.