In October, Maccabi Tel Aviv will play two preseason games, against the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers, marking their fifth visit in 9 years.
During this visit, Pro-Palestinian groups are objecting. Such groups are expected to be standing outside the Barclay's Center protesting the preseason game against the Nets, which will take place next Tuesday. They are arguing that Israel's recent actions in Gaza warrant their presence.
The Jewish Voice for Peace has already set up a facebook event page with the slogan "BROOKLYN DOESN'T PLAY WITH APARTHEID!" as part of the Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. So far, 131 people have confirmed attendance.
Protestors also plan to demonstrate outside the Maccabi vs. Cleveland game on Sunday.
It has not been uncommon for Israeli basketball and soccer teams to attract protestors in Europe. Now, with Maccabi, the Euroleague champs, returning to the United States, the trend appears to have spread.
The Nets game, in particular, has garnered attention because of a VIP Celebration at the Barclay’s Center for Maccabi Tel Aviv hosted by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF). The reception will honor Israeli soldiers wounded in Operation Protective Edge, as well as Dolph Schayes, a famous Jewish former NBA player.
The VIP reception will take place at 5:30 PM at Barclay’s Center, while the game is set for 7:30 PM.