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Tel Aviv Heat Statement on Mzansi Challenge

The Tel Aviv Heat was surprised and disappointed to learn of the decision taken by the South African Rugby Union (SARU) to withdraw its invitation to the Tel Aviv Heat to compete in the upcoming 2023 Mzansi Challenge.


Though the statement issued publicly by SARU indicated they had “listened to the opinions of important stakeholder groups”, SARU did not consult with the Tel Aviv Heat, the Israel Rugby Union, or the Israeli Embassy in South Africa prior to the decision.


Since its founding in 2021, the Tel Aviv Heat’s growth and success on and off the field has been driven by its rewarding and supportive team culture that brings together players, staff, and a community of passionate supporters that bridge multiple cultures, races, nationalities, and religions.


Blocking participation in the Mzansi Challenge has deprived the Tel Aviv Heat of a strategic opportunity to continue its development as an elite professional rugby team and to build valuable brand equity in South Africa and other Mzansi Challenge markets and unjustly punishes and demoralizes players, coaches, staff, and supporters in the midst of preparing for the competition.


Tragically, though SARU indicated the intention “to avoid the likelihood of the competition becoming a source of division”, the decision to block the Tel Aviv Heat from participating in the Mzansi Challenge will only sow further division in South Africa and beyond by bolstering voices dedicated to vilify, demonize, and censor those who do not share their views.


In the end, SARU’s decision runs contrary to the spirit and core values of rugby, promotes the politics of hatred and retribution over the best interests of sport, and exposes the Tel Aviv Heat and its supporters to being targeted by aggressive, hateful language designed to intimidate, delegitimize, and silence.










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6 Comments


South Africa is broken, beyond repair 😢

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This ANC will rue the day on the decisions they make!!

They ar the most racist, they proclaim to be anti racist, but they oppress the coloured people of South Africa!!

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Caroline Hutton
Caroline Hutton
Feb 06, 2023

People and players of Tel Aviv -we deeply regret the decision of these few South Aficans who have made such a foolish decision. Thousands of South Africans stand for the Jews of Israel and all you stand for and believe in. We humbly apologize for the few fools who have a loud voice -please forgive the rest of South Africa -we back you 100%

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Abubaker Rinquest
Abubaker Rinquest
Feb 06, 2023

We salute SARU for standing on the right side of history. SARU has proven that they recognize the efforts of a Sports Boycott to pressure Apartheid Israel to stop their settler colonial project by occupying Palestine. Just like we overthrew the Racist Apartheid government in SA, we will continue to support Palestine in their struggle to free themselves from the oppression of the colonisers.

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Replying to

Yup

27 years and our economy is crumbling. Everyone is immigrating. Crime is out of control. We have no power. No water. No jobs. There is no hope for the youth

Yup

Just like Gaza and the West Bank

Yup

Terrorism and violence is the only answer. Never mind anyone else that just wants to get on with their lives. Let’s just burn it and destroy it

Shmuck!

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Geoff Clein
Geoff Clein
Feb 06, 2023
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