Golden State Warriors All-Star Draymond Green is taking barbs from critics upset over photos depicting the player firing military-styled weapons during his visit to Israel.
The three-time NBA champion met Likud Party member and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin who praised the player. “It’s not every day that I meet an All-Star,” Rivlin said according to The Mercury News.
Tremendous pleasure today to welcome Draymond @Money23Green of the Golden State @Warriors. It’s not everyday you get to meet an #Allstar! I hope this will be only your first visit to Israel, come back and visit us soon. pic.twitter.com/kaDwq5i4C8
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) July 4, 2018
— Or Shkedy (@Orshkedy) July 4, 2018
Green’s trip was organized by the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). During his visit Green visited the nation’s counter-terrorism unit and played basketball with soldiers near the border.
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כוכב האן.בי איי דריימונד גרין, שזכה לאחרונה באליפות במדי גולדן סטייט והגיע לביקור בארץ, הפגין את כישורי הצליפה שלו גם במהלך סיור שערך אצל לוחמי הימ"מ – היחידה המיוחדת ללוחמה בטרור של משמר הגבול ומשטרת ישראל. לאחר שהתנסה במטווחים, פגש גרין את מפקד היחידה, ניצב משנה נ' – לו העניק את חולצת המשחק הרשמית שלו @money23green @warriors #nba #israelpolice
But the connection to the IDF incensed many Israel haters who attacked the player for participating with Israel’s armed forces.
Dave Zirin, sports editor for the far left magazine The Nation, offered typical criticism.
“Why reject Donald Trump and accept the invitation of Rivlin?” Zirin exclaimed. “It is, frankly, shocking to see Draymond Green smiling and shooting guns in their company. These counterterrorism border police units are part of a military that shot and killed Palestinians who were protesting at the border in May, less than two months ago.”
GQ magazine’s Nathaniel Friedman piled on, accusing the IDF of “human rights abuses.”
“Palestine is now a mainstream cause, especially for younger people and avowed leftists, who view it as a staple of anti-imperialism,” Friedman scolded. “Play-acting with the military that enforces the government’s draconian policies pushes things even further. That Green never made any explicit comments on what many view as a human rights crisis is almost beside the point. The images strongly suggest that he’s down with the IDF, or at least able to take the situation lightly. And, no matter what Green’s actual feelings are, the political utility of these images is undeniable.”
“You got played,” Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King chided Green, according to the JTA. “Flashing a toothy grin w/ a sniper rifle in Israel on a trip (organized) by Friends of the IDF is so horribly offensive. They’ve recently slaughtered unarmed Palestinians w/ those rifles.”
Of course, the criticism is based solely on the left’s assumption that Israel should be treated as a pariah state and no one should be allowed to visit the nation unless it is to condemn Jews.
Other left-wingers chimed in on Twitter:
"Draymond Green refused to visit Donald Trump. But he visited the Israeli President and posed as a sniper for the cameras—that’s a problem." https://t.co/j7QZASptn7
— Omar Mouallem (@omar_aok) July 11, 2018
I wanna call our brother @Money23Green in & offer some real talk about how we can support justice, as he said in a recent interview, “the right way.” Offer is here, brother. Never let anyone use you as a mule. Black folks have had enough of that already. https://t.co/XDRuF5eejY
— Alicia Garza (@aliciagarza) July 11, 2018
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.