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Pro-Palestine chairman of UK football club slaps down pro-Israel group over 'intimidation' 

MANSFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Dale Vince, Owner of Forest Green Rovers celebrates after their sides victory and promotion as League 2 champions during the Sky Bet League Two match between Mansfield Town and Forest Green Rovers at One Call Stadium on May 07, 2022 in Mansfield, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Dale Vince, Owner of Forest Green Rovers celebrates after their sides victory and promotion as League 2 champions during the Sky Bet League Two match between Mansfield Town and Forest Green Rovers at One Call Stadium on May 07, 2022 in Mansfield, England. [Matthew Lewis/Getty Images]

UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) has been slapped down by the Chairman of Forest Green Rovers FC (FGR), Dale Vince OBE, following an attempt by the notorious pro-Israel group to "threaten" and "intimidate" the league one club over its solidarity with the Palestinians.

Vince published several tweets over recent months in support of the Palestinian cause and raised the Palestinian flag during an FGR match. He also met with the Palestinian Ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot. The English club's powerful display of solidarity with the Palestinians appears to have been too much for UKLFI. The pro-Israel group sent a letter to Vince threatening to take action against the club.

"Your letter seems to be factually and logically challenged," said Vince in his letter which was shared on Twitter yesterday. "Criticism of the state of Israel does not amount to racism in any form or to any degree," added Vince, while arguing that in his view UKLFI was trying to label him an anti-Semite over his criticism of the Apartheid State.

"The statement I made about the actions of the state of Israel and the similarities between the situation in Palestine and in Ukraine-are all unarguable facts," Vince continued. "I note you do not seek to argue against them. Simply labelling them a 'caricature' is to avoid proper discussion."

READ: Campaigners urge UK Lawyers for Israel patrons to resign over 'far-right' event

In April Vince added his voice to what many see as Western hypocrisy and double standards in refusing to take any meaningful action to end Israel's brutal occupation of Palestine. "We flew this flag at FGR's game. In solidarity with Palestine," said Vince in a tweet displaying the image of the Palestine flag. "The conflict there has all the same ingredients as the one in Ukraine – invasion, occupation, murder of civilians, destruction of homes and hospitals – and sieges."

Vince highlighted the fact that Palestine has been under siege by Israel by air, land and sea, for decades, but nevertheless this has not stopped the US from pumping billions of dollars in aid to Israel.

"What's happening there is a disgrace to nations that collectively self identify as the 'West'," Vince stated. "It stands in stark contradiction to 'our' claims to moral superiority, civilisation and democratic values.  Has to be said."

In the letter to UKLFI, Vince pointed to Israel being a serial violator of UN resolutions. The Apartheid State has been condemned by the world body more than any other country in recent decades. "Perhaps the UN is also a racist body," said Vince rhetorically mocking the UKLFI implication.

READ: Palestinian ambassador highlights media inconsistency over Ukraine and Palestine

The Forest Green chairman went on to reject UKLFI's claim that Israel gives equal rights to all people by insisting that it was "nonsense". Highlighting that the consensus amongst all major human rights group is that Israel is a racist state guilty of practising the crime of apartheid, he added: "It's not for nothing that the situation there is increasingly compared to Apartheid."

Vince concluded the letter by charging UKLFI of trying to "intimidate" him. "Such is often the way when people speak out in support of Palestine," he said, pointed accusing UKLFI of trying to "stifle free speech-and especially free speech in favour of a free Palestine."

UKLFI's letter is the latest of many recent claims. The pro-Israel group has gained notoriety over recent years as has been the case with many advocates of the Apartheid State, who its critics say are becoming increasingly hostile to Palestinian solidarity. Instead of addressing the reality on the ground their main tactic has been to smear and threaten those highlighting human rights abuses and violations of international law.

READ: New textbook to be published without 'undue influence of pro-Israel groups'

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