Saturday, September 21, 2019

Palestinians call for Puma Boycott


By F.T Hupsel - June 18, 2019
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [BDS] [sport]

Activists from more than 20 countries joined an international day of action on June 15 against German sports brand Puma, urging it to withdraw sponsorship from Israel's football association.


Under the slogan “Give Puma the Boot”, the Boycott, Divestment and movement (BDS) encouraged activists to “take action” against Puma stores across the world, after 200 Palestinian football clubs and sports organisations called for the boycott.


The IFA incorporates six teams situated in Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank, which are illegal under international law.


The United Nations has documented, the Israeli settlements are one of the major obstacles to peace in the region, fueling severe daily impacts on Palestinian human rights.


In Germany, where the brand is originally from, BDS Berlin organised a protest in the capital outside the Puma Concept Store at Hackescher Markt.


"Thousands of people taking part in a day of action across the globe, delivering a clear message to Puma that it will be held accountable for its complicity with human rights abuses," Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Ben Jamal, told The New Arab.


More than 25,000 emails were also sent to UK football clubs who are sponsored by Puma, urging them to end their deals due to the sportswear's partnership with the IFA.


"Companies like Puma cannot claim to support universal equality whilst being the main sponsor of the IFA, which operates on stolen Palestinian land with total impunity," said James Tuite, campaign officer at the PSC.


Companies, organisations, institutions, teams, and individuals are gradually deciding against contracts with Israel’s activities based on illegal settlements, as the BDS non-violent movements grow in strength.


The IFA’s previous sponsor, Adidas, ended its agreement in July 2018 following a protest campaign by activists and complaints from over 130 Palestinian football clubs and the delivery of over 16,000 signatures to Adidas headquarters in Amsterdam.


According to the Middle East Monitor, Adidas responded to the petition saying: “We have raised with FIFA the need for them to adjudicate on the question of the Israeli settlement teams, by following the tenets of international law and their human rights policy.”


In 2017, United Nations Special Rapporteur, Richard Falk, signed a collective letter to FIFA criticising the “selective enforcement of its own rules, which prohibit any member federation from holding matches on the territory of another without the latter’s approval.”


However, neither FIFA nor the IFA has made any action in regards to the letter.

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