Adidas, Don't Help Running Apartheid: Cancel Sponsorship of Jerusalem Marathon!

December 13, 2010

To Adidas International Headquarters (Global_Public_Relations@adidas.com),

We are a group of Israeli citizens who support the Palestinian 2005 Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights. We have noticed the mounting campaign [1] against your company's sponsorship of the Jerusalem Marathon scheduled to be held in March, 2011. Going through the settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev in occupied East Jerusalem, to the background view of the illegal apartheid and annexation wall, and circling the Hebrew University, which is built on land belonging to the East Jerusalem neighborhood Issawiyah - this marathon boasts of the Israeli illegal control and occupation of the oppressed indigenous Palestinian population of East Jerusalem. Indeed, as the campaigners noted, the marathon aids and abets a violation of international law, namely the war crime described by article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.

We would like to inform you that Adidas' sponsorship of this marathon, in its current route or a revised one, also undermines the Palestinian Call for a cultural, including sports, boycott of Israel. The marathon is organized by the same municipality that routinely organizes house evictions and demolitions in East Jerusalem. It signals an international 'business as usual' message to apartheid and occupation, perpetuated by Israel, on behalf of Adidas.

Jerusalem's municipality is a specifically oppressive Israeli institution and a part of the Israeli regime official institutions that continue to oppress the entire Palestinian people: in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza – through a cruel occupation and siege; inside Israel proper - through a system of apartheid against the 1.2 Million Palestinian citizens of Israel; and in all these areas and the diaspora - through prevention of Palestinian refugees' UN sanctioned right of return and compensation due to the 1948 Nakba, the mass ethnic cleansing carried out by the state of Israel in its formation. Jerusalem municipality maintains the surveillance and organizes eviction orders and demolitions of what it considers 'illegal' Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. It does so, in spite of not allowing almost entirely any legal Palestinian construction and of its reluctance to recognize Palestinian ownership of houses built even prior to the 1967 occupation. The municipality harshly discriminates against the Palestinian East Jerusalem residents, investing close to nothing in its infrastructure and public services, and expropriating over a third of its land for Jewish settlements, in violation of international law.

Just two and a half weeks ago, the Palestinian residents of one of the marathon's route adjacent neighborhoods, Issawiyah, held a non-violent demonstration against their oppression by Israeli authorities. The residents protested the neglect of the authorities in providing infrastructure and public services; the continued land expropriation, house and other structures demolitions and the uprooting of trees by Israeli forces; the arrest of teens on stone-throwing charges into a poorly standardized legal system; and the collective punishment measures taken against the residents, segregating the neighborhood both from the West Bank – by the apartheid wall - and from the rest of Jerusalem – by settlement walls and police and military checkpoints. The police and army routinely repress the entire neighborhood through the use of riot-control tear gas in a heavily populated area, which has recently led to the killing of an 18-month-old Palestinian child.

To avoid Adidas' complicity in the perpetuation of such atrocities, we therefore urge you not to cooperate with the Jerusalem municipality and to cancel Adidas' sponsorship of the Jerusalem Marathon, until there's peace and justice in Palestine/Israel.

Sincerely,

Ayala Shani
Jonatan Stanczak
Rachel Giora
Shir Hever
Neta Golan
Iris Hefets
Ofer Neiman
Ohal Grietzer
Tal Shapira
Edo Medicks
Ronnie Barkan
Jonathan Pollak
Ofra Ben Artzi

On behalf of
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from within
http://boycottisrael.info