Another demonstration at IOC headquarters calls for Israel to be banned from Paris 2024. EMF

With their hands painted red in support of Palestine, the protesters repeated a demonstration from March to persuade IOC officials to ban Israel from the Games. The event was organised by several groups. Among them was the European Muslim Forum.

Last Wednesday, demonstrators again called for a boycott of Israel at the Paris 2024 Olympics. They had done so in early March. On that occasion, a letter was delivered to officials of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) urging a total ban on the participation of Israeli athletes in the competition. The European Muslim Forum promoted the event at the time. It was again one of the many organisations supporting Palestine and strongly protesting the ongoing situation in Gaza.

On Wednesday, protesters gathered at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. They crowded the entrance to the main building. They painted their hands red to symbolise the months-long conflict in Gaza. "How can an athlete with blood on his hands compete with another national team?" Anna Stamou, representing the European Muslim Forum, told Inside The Games.

"All Olympic ideals are ready to be sacrificed to allow Israel to take part in the Games," Stamou added. "The Olympic truce is a milestone that has been preserved since ancient times and will be ignored this year," the European Muslim Forum stressed.

The protesters at the IOC headquarters last Wednesday. EFM
The protesters at the IOC headquarters last Wednesday. EFM

Wednesday's demonstration was peaceful, with no incidents requiring police intervention, and lasted two hours. Protesters carried banners reading "Boycott Israel, boycott genocide", "Humanity has failed" and "Free Palestine". Since March, when the first demonstration calling for a boycott of Israel took place, the IOC has not communicated anything new, according to the European Muslim Forum. This is why they are continuing their protests.

"This is why the EMF, together with other local and international organisations, is fighting to raise awareness and demand that the right should prevail. This is the reason for the constant demonstrations in front of the IOC, even though the answer is always in favour of Israel. Each and every time, both verbally and in writing. However, we believe in the power of the people, in justice, in fairness, and we will continue to protest and demand fair play from the IOC," Stamou concluded.

The organisations taking part in Wednesday's protest were:

BDS Lausanne

BDS Neuchatel

Collectif Urgence Palestine Vaud

Collectif Sud Global

Coordination Étudiants Palestine CEP Lausanne

IRDG - International Institute for Rights and Development

Global Summit for Palestine

Youth Parliament for SDGs

European Muslim Forum 

The protesters carried signs calling for a boycott of Israel in the Olympic Games. EFM
The protesters carried signs calling for a boycott of Israel in the Olympic Games. EFM

These organisations highlighted the double standards and discrimination faced by Palestine at a protest in Switzerland on Wednesday. They point out that Russia and Belarus were banned from the Olympic Games shortly after the conflict began.

According to the committee, athletes from Russia and Belarus can compete in this year's Olympics as neutrals. They will not be allowed to take part in the opening ceremony or use flags, emblems or anthems. No government officials from either country will be invited to Paris. The boycott petition sent to the IOC seeks the same treatment for Israel, which it accuses of being a "criminal state".

Israel "makes a mockery of the decisions of the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice", reads a leaflet distributed by the demonstrators in Lausanne. Their aim was to show that society "is not blind and will not remain silent", the organisations present reiterated.