Ex-NBA player foresees unprecedented Paris Olympics amid calls to ban Israel

Ex-NBA player foresees unprecedented Paris Olympics amid calls to ban Israel

FRANCE-Several hundred pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered on Tuesday 28 May 2024 close to the headquarters of the Paris Olympics organizers, demanding that Israel’s participation in the Summer Games in the French capital be restricted.

How will protests affect the Paris Olympics?

Around 300 protesters demonstrated against Israel’s “institutional participation” in the Games due to the Gaza conflict in front of the Paris Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games headquarters in the suburb of Saint-Denis. They waved Palestinian flags and chanted anti-Israeli slogans. 

Protesters argued the International Olympic Committee should follow the same approach for the Israelis, citing the example of Russian athletes who would compete at the Olympics under a neutral flag and without the presence of Russian government officials. After the invasion of Ukraine, they decided in less than four days to bar Russia and Belarus from the Olympics, according to protestor Nicolas Shahshahani of the EuroPalestine activist group. They’re ready to greet the delegation from Israel.

Why ban Israel at the Paris Olympics?

 French President Emmanuel Macron supported the International Olympic Committee’s decision to permit Russian athletes to compete in the Olympics, although under a neutral flag, in spite of the invasion of Ukraine. Despite the fact that Israel has been on the assault in Gaza since October 7, when militants led by Hamas rushed into southern Israel and killed almost 1,200 people, largely civilians, and kidnapped about 250 others, he supported the participation of Israeli athletes flying their flag. 

Gaza’s health officials report that over 34,000 Palestinians have lost their lives in the ensuing Israel-Hamas conflict. Macron stated, “We cannot claim that Israel is attacking.” “Israel is reacting in Gaza to a terrorist attack that it was the victim of.” Pro-Palestinian students attempted to take over university facilities at France’s two famous universities in the Paris region a few days before to the protests, which were sparked by Gaza solidarity encampments on American campuses. 50 students were taken out of the Sorbonne university by French police after pro-Palestinian demonstrators took over the main courtyard. Pro-Palestinian students attempted to take over an amphitheatre at Sciences Po, the Paris Institute of Political Studies, last week, sparking protests. 

Ex-NBA player on Paris Olympics: Why unprecedented?

As per apnews, Pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian protestors engaged in a heated standoff in the street outside the school . To keep the opposing groups apart, riot cops intervened. After reaching a consensus with the administration, the students left the facility late on Friday, bringing the protest to a peaceful conclusion. According to aa, Since its beginning in 1896, protests and boycotts have frequently accompanied the Olympics, the biggest sporting event in the world. 

US sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos demonstrated against racial inequality during the men’s 200-meter award ceremony in Mexico in 1968 by going barefoot on the podium and raising a single black-gloved fist during the playing of the national anthem. Undoubtedly, the ongoing carnage in Gaza, where Israel has killed over 36,000 people since October 7, will eclipse the Summer Olympics in Paris. On Monday, April 15, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that he was “shocked” by “racist” statements against the singer Aya Nakamura’s planned performance at the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics.

Call to action: Boycott Pairs Olympics 2024

Despite the fact that 90% of Black French individuals claim to have experienced discrimination, the government pays little attention to the issues brought on by racism in the nation. Highlighting the underrepresentation of Black individuals in the French National Assembly, the army’s senior leadership, and corporate management. 

Paris Olympics 2024 should be boycotted because the brutality of the French government towards its people and fans could not be denied. Recent occurrences in France have demonstrated how sensitive the topic of race is in French culture. However, in order to go forward, policymakers must stress that this is nothing new and that racism in France, both past and current, must be addressed in public policy. 

France is “non-racial” in that it downplays the existence of race and is “anti-racial” in that it forbids the use of racial terminology. It is evident how race has had a significant role in shaping French identity throughout history and the present. Recognising this, France should implement institutional and pedagogical reforms to address this systemic problem. One aspect of French racial discourse involves the avoidance of using the term “race” in official papers. 



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