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BDS: 'Adidas no longer sponsors Israel Football Association'

Aug. 3, 2018 2:32 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 30, 2018 10:34 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement announced earlier this week that sports brand giant, Adidas, will no longer sponsor the Israel Football Association (IFA).

Following a global campaign with human rights supporters around the world asking the German sportswear manufacturer, Adidas, to stop its complicity in the oppression of Palestinian people who live under Israeli occupation, and with the ongoing colonization of their land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In March, over 130 Palestinian football clubs called on Adidas to end its sponsorship of the IFA over its complicity with the oppression of the Palestinian people.

The IFA includes six Israeli football teams based in illegal Israeli settlements that perform matches on confiscated Palestinian land, which is a policy considered illegal under international law.

In June, over 16,000 individuals signed an international petition calling on Adidas to drop the IFA, which was then delivered to the Adidas headquarters in Amsterdam.

Adidas responded to the petition by 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."

According to the official BDS website, international human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, UN experts, and about 175 European legislators have urged FIFA to resolve the issue of Israeli settlement clubs. Despite these calls, FIFA has refused to address the issue saying they will remain "neutral."

The BDS movement considers this a big win, considering it has been boycotting Adidas since 2012 and calling upon others to do the same.

It remains unclear if, in fact, the global campaign was responsible for Adidas no longer sponsoring the IFA, however BDS as well as the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) welcomed the news.

PACBI and Palestinians are now issuing a boycott campaign against IFA's new sponsor, Puma who has replaced Adidas under a four-year deal, in order to end complicity with Israel's violations of international law.

PACBI released a statement on the matter, saying "international consensus is clear. Israeli settlements are 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 Israel’s grave violations of international law and oppression of Palestinians."

PACBI added "The cat, referring to Puma's leaping cat logo, should take a leap for Palestinian rights."

Additionally, following boycotts and various government condemnations, Adidas had previously ended sponsorship in Israel, such as the sponsoring of the "Jerusalem marathon," whose route included illegal Israeli settlements and encroaches on occupied East Jerusalem.

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