The BDS movement is claiming a victory, with Adidas no longer the sponsor of the Israel Football Association.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel welcomes the news that Adidas is no longer sponsoring the Israel Football Association (IFA).
Last March, over 130 Palestinian football clubs called on the German sportswear manufacturer 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 rob Palestinians of land and resources. Israeli settlements are considered a war crime 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 were delivered to Adidas satellite headquarters in Amsterdam.
In a reply to the Palestinian clubs, Adidas stated it had raised the issue of Israeli settlement teams with FIFA. Adidas, one of FIFA’s 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.”
This is not the first time Adidas has ended sponsorship of complicit Israeli entities. Following widespread protests, calls for boycott and government condemnations, Adidas stopped sponsoring the so-called “Jerusalem marathon,” whose route includes illegal Israeli settlements and encroaches on occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem.
This is hummus-gate all over again.
While it is true Adidas did write that they “had raised the issue of Israeli settlement teams with FIFA”, that seems to have been the scope of it. If you read the contents of their letter, you will also see how they are careful to note that fundamentally, Adidas “acts in a politically neutral way.”
In other words, Adidas made a point of (politely) rejecting the BDS demands to end their association with the Israel Football Association.
So why, then, is Adidas no longer sponsoring the Israel Football Association? The reason has nothing to do with BDS, with the decision being made by the IFA as part of a “strategic move” to improve teams’ performance.
Israel’s national soccer teams will all be fitted with new uniforms with the finalizing of an attire contract with Puma.
Delta, the exclusive importer of the leading sports brand Puma, and the Israel Football Association have signed an agreement in which Puma will provide and sponsor the equipment for all Israel’s national teams, including women, youth, youth and junior teams.
The agreement was signed for four years and will take effect from July 2018.
Delta CEO Zvika Schwimmer said: “I am proud to lead the production of the Israeli team kits under the sponsorship of Puma. Puma has worked on a very special design for Israel’s national soccer teams. The new concept of the uniform is a retro-inspired design of the legendary Israel national team from World Cup Mexico in 1970.
“The choice of Puma was part of a long-term strategic move that ensures the best conditions for Israel’s teams, certainly with regard to equipment,” said Rotem Kamer, CEO of the Israel Football Association. “Israel teams will enjoy working in cooperation with the leading company in the field and I believe that the results will be seen on the pitch and in many other aspects of the game. The new design of the uniform is a reminder of Israel’s wonderful days of success in international soccer, which we aspire to return soon.”
Just like the people they claim to support, the BDS Movement cannot help but lie.