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Text: Michael Bennett bows to BDS – cancel visit to Israel

Saturday, February 11, 2017 15:22
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Text: Michael Bennett bows to BDS – cancel visit to Israel February 10, 2017

Dear World,

I was scheduled to make a visit to Israel with fellow NFL players. I was
excited to see this remarkable and historic part of the world with my own
eyes. I was not aware, until reading this article about the trip in the
Times of Israel, that my itinerary was being constructed by the Israeli
government for the purposes of making me, in the words of a government
official, an “influencer and opinion-former” who would then be “an
ambassador of good will.” I will not be used in such a manner. When I do go
to Israel – and I do plan to go – it will be to see not only Israel but also
the West Bank and Gaza so I can see how the Palestinians, who have called
this land home for thousands of years, live their lives.

One of my heroes has always been Muhammad Ali. I know that Ali always stood
strongly with the Palestinian people, visiting refugee camps, going to
rallies, and always willing to be a “voice for the voiceless. I want to be a
“voice for the voiceless,” and I cannot do that by going on this kind of
trip to Israel.

I know that this will anger some people and inspire others. But please know
that I did this not for you, but to be in accord with my own values and my
own conscience. Like 1968 Olympian John Carlos always says, “There is no
partial commitment to justice. You are either in or you’re out.” Well, I’m

Michael Bennett


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