Following a global campaign, Adidas is no longer sponsoring football teams in illegal Israeli settlements. Palestinians call on new sponsor Puma to end complicity with Israel’s violations of international law.Ā
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel welcomes theĀ newsĀ that Adidas is no longer sponsoring the Israel Football Association (IFA).
Last March, over 130 Palestinian football clubsĀ called onĀ the German sportswear manufacturer to end its sponsorship of the IFA over its complicity with the oppression of the Palestinian people. The IFAĀ includes six Israeli football teamsĀ based in illegal Israeli settlements that rob Palestinians of land and resources. Israeli settlements are considered aĀ war crimeĀ under international law.
A spirited global campaign followed, with human rights supporters around the world calling on Adidas to end its sponsorship of matches on stolen Palestinian land. In June, over 16,000 signatures on an international petition wereĀ deliveredĀ to Adidas satellite headquarters in Amsterdam.
In aĀ replyĀ to the Palestinian clubs, Adidas stated it had raised the issue of Israeli settlement teams with FIFA. Adidas, one of FIFAāsĀ main partners, noted the need for the world governing body of football to “adjudicate on the question of the Israeli settlement teams, by following the tenets of international law and their human rights policy.ā
This is not the first time Adidas has ended sponsorship of complicit Israeli entities. Following widespreadĀ protests, calls forĀ boycottĀ andĀ government condemnations, Adidas stopped sponsoring the so-called āJerusalem marathon,ā whose route includes illegal Israeli settlements and encroaches on occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem.
Israelās brand has become increasingly toxic following its wide scale massacres of Palestinians in Gaza peacefully protesting for their UN-sanctioned rights. Israel hasĀ killedĀ nearly 150 Palestinians, including journalists, medics and over 20 children since the end of March.
More thanĀ 50 Palestinian athletesĀ are among the over ten thousand injured by IsraelāsĀ shoot-to-kill-or-maim policyĀ in Gaza, leaving many with live changing disabilities, cutting short promising sports careers.
A warning to Puma
Another German sportswear company, Puma, hasĀ replacedĀ Adidas as sponsor of the IFA under a four-year deal.
By sponsoring the IFA, Puma is associating its global brand with Israelās expanding settlement enterprise, whose illegal land grabs and home demolitions are driving out indigenous Palestinians through gradualĀ ethnic cleansing. The iconic leaping cat is sports-washing Israelās military occupation and violations of Palestinians rights.
PumaāsĀ Code of EthicsĀ maintains it has a commitment to human rights and pays āclose attention to the concerns expressed by international institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and representatives of civil society.ā
As a signatory of the UN Global Compact, Puma also has anĀ obligationĀ to make sure that it is ānot complicit in human rights abuses.ā
International consensus is clear. Israeli settlements areĀ illegal. Puma is exposing itself to global boycott campaigns by conscientious consumers supporting human rights.
We call on Puma to end its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA) as long as it is involved in Israelās grave violations of international law and oppression of Palestinians.
The cat should take a leap for Palestinian rights.
Human Interest 07/25/18Ā Two Boys: Life and Death in Gaza