Spanish goalkeeper Casillas likely to be on Freedom Flotilla 2

I know I’m a little late in saying this, but the World Cup has taught me a few lessons:

1. If your mom is a stickler for money efficiency, buy jerseys after the World Cup ends. They will be on sale and she might not make you return them.

2. FIFA really needs to invest either in new goal-line technology or new referees. No more of this.

3. The World Cup brought the world together. Take advantage of it and prolong the sense of unity, even if it means joining Freedom Flotilla 2. This lesson is especially important.

The World Cup has once again introduced us to global unity. Entire communities joined one another to celebrate victories or share grief over bitter losses. People from the West met people from the East and together they waved the same flags and sang the same chants. For thirty days, people put aside their differences and took advantage of the unity that appeared to transcend socio-political borders. The World Cup worked wonders.

But these wonders haven’t yet faded away. Just ask Iker Casillas, captain and goalkeeper for Spain’s World Cup-winning national team.

Casillas is among many World Cup athletes who feel a connection with the Palestinians besieged in the Gaza Strip. In light of his team’s championship win, Casillas opted out from taking part in certain celebrations throughout central Madrid. “It’s unthinkable that people take part [in celebrations] and laugh after seeing what is going on in the Gaza Strip,” said Casillas to al-Hayat, a London-based newspaper.

His activism doesn’t just end there. It’s been reported that Casillas will most likely join other famous athletes on the forthcoming Freedom Flotilla 2, an ambitious and noble seaborne mission to break the siege on Gaza and deliver much-needed humanitarian aid. Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal is expected to be part of Flotilla 2 as well.

Although this hasn’t been confirmed yet, it’s nice to see that the spirit of the World Cup lives on even after the final match. Its aim is to promote unity through good sportsmanship and moral character. Casillas’s aim is to promote it even further. He’s already shown us that he’s the world’s best goalkeeper, and now he gets to show us how much he cares for humanity.

Sami Kishawi

There are 10 comments

  1. Saqer,M.D.

    it is a wonderful feeling to cheer for a sport team that has such a tellent and humanity at the same time. it feels so good that the people of gaza where not forgotten in the mid of this international party.

  2. rawan

    Yes Ive seen that story, but just because Ynet posts it doesnt mean it is credible evidence. Ynet themselves picked it up from al-Hayat. Presumably al-Hayat picked it up from places like here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/note.php?note_id=137942169560705&id=117157948302436&ref=mf

    who seem to have got wind of it first from some Iranian news agency.

    None of it is substantiated. Anyone with a bullshit detector would have erred on the side of caution first before believing such crap. Casillas did attend the Madrid celebrations.

    The only thing online (in English) as to Casillas and Gaza was one Press TV report that also mentioned Rafael Nadal concerning outrage at the war on Gaza on 2008-2009. In that report it quotes him as saying he would not attend the New Years Eve Celebrations in Madrid. (http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=80118&sectionid=3510211)

    My feeling is someone picked up that old report and applied it post-World Cup. A complete hatchet job. I just cannot believe at how people are so gullible and willing to jump on such an unconvincing story without any credible evidence. It is merely hearsay.

    1. Sami Kishawi

      I appreciate your intuitiveness. I agree – it is disappointing that much of the public is deceived by shoddy mainstream media and I feel like it is a natural obligation to read between the lines and investigate sources.

      As for your response, Ynet did in fact pick it up from al-Hayat. But you say “presumably” that al-Hayat picked it up from a facebook page. I’d simply like to clarify that al-Hayat is the largest and most popular newspaper for the Arab diaspora and is regarded, by the New York Times as well, as a credible news source. One cannot assume where al-Hayat picked the story up.

      Casillas did indeed attend Madrid celebrations, but not all of them. Whether or not he attended the celebrations doesn’t change the fact that he remains a candidate for the next Freedom Flotilla.

  3. iRevolt

    @Rawan

    You are trying to refute an article published by YNet News by claiming it is merely hearsay by ironically making a claim that “presumably” Al Hayat picked up the story from Facebook which was somehow picked up due to an Iranian News Agency’s report.

    Of course you cannot substantiate this claim and it is something you are assuming to be true.

    With all due respect, your “feeling(s)” don’t matter in this case – not in the least.

    If you want to want to try and make a point that the story is not true then by all means use material/factual evidence to prove it.

  4. rawan

    Thanks for your response Sami.

    The article spoke of the official Madrid celebrations which he did attend, including the official team dinner in Madrid and the presentation meeting with the Spanish royals.

    I would be delighted if people like him and Nadal are supporters of Gaza and Palestine, my contention is treating such blatantly suspicious news items with more than a little astuteness is needed which is why al-Hayat’s very simple regurgitation of the “he didnt celebrate the win in the Madrid celebrations” was so beyond stupid and bad journalism.

    In fact they used the above to give the introduction of the Gaza Freedom Movement seeking him as a candidate for the next flotilla. This news item was totally new and could possibly be true, I know that any high profile individual who has indicated in the past to have shown sympathy with Palestine would definitely be on the list of potential candidates, that is how every delegation is drawing up their lists, and how we are doing it down here….but again, he may be on the list, he may have been approached and possibly have even supported the idea but *we do not know that* and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise, but already everyone is ecstatic.

    The most shrewd mind would simply ask, how in the world would his football giant of a club who pay him truck loads of money would ever agree to release him for a dangerous humanitarian mission across the Mediterranean in the middle of their footballing season.

    1. Sami Kishawi

      Freedom Flotilla 2 is expected to include notables from across the world. High ranking officials and well-known individuals have already signed up to join the mission along with more than 7,000 others. I cannot speak on behalf of the Gaza Freedom Movement or any affiliated organizations, but there is definitely speculation that Casillas might also be among those who’ve expressed interest to join. Published reports do indicate that he’s been in contact with planning members. Can any of us substantiate this any further? Probably not, but the point of the post is to express hope and support for Casillas and any other players who just might be part of the Flotilla.

      Although this is still unconfirmed, I do hope to see Casillas and other superstar athletes part of the Flotilla mission. I’m sure we all agree!

  5. MoHoops

    @rowan..
    Actually the spanish season starts in late august, preseason around mid july, while the flotilla sails late june.
    Hmm..perhaps you meant in the middle of the OFF-season..ie their holidays.

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