Protests planned in 20 countries against PUMA’s support for illegal Israeli settlements

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This Saturday, October 26, human rights activists and sports fans will protest at PUMA retail outlets, offices and matches of PUMA-sponsored teams in 20 countries under the slogan #BoycottPuma.

Actions in more than 50 locations are planned as part of a coordinated initiative to protest PUMA’s sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA). The IFA includes football teams based in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Over 200 Palestinian sports teams have urged PUMA to end its sponsorship of the IFA “due to its deep complicity in Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights”.

Israeli settlements are illegal and considered war crimes under international law.

Campaigners are calling on PUMA to end its support for Israel’s decades-old military occupation by terminating its sponsorship contract with the IFA.

On Wednesday, cars on London’s Underground were filled with “Boycott PUMA” subvertisements, naming PUMA as “proud sponsor of Israeli apartheid.” More than 20 protest actions are planned across the UK.

In New York, human rights activists will protest at PUMA’s new Fifth Avenue flagship store.

At a match this Saturday, fans of Belfast’s Cliftonville Football Club will be calling on the team to end its sponsorship deal with PUMA. Last week, the Donegal Celtic Football Club in Belfast posed with Boycott PUMA signs in support of the call from Palestinian teams.

In Malaysia, a solidarity football match at the public university USIM will raise awareness on PUMA’s complicity in Israel’s military rule over Palestinians.

A dozen cities across France will join the day of action, with calls for Olympique de Marseille Football Club to drop PUMA.

In New Zealand, human rights activists are calling on the Silver Ferns, the Women’s National Netball Team, to show the “character and values” they are known for by dropping PUMA as a sponsor.

Groups in Manchester and Girona are calling on City Football Group, owners of Manchester City and Girona Football Club, to end the group’s sponsorship deal with PUMA.

On social media, supporters are posting images of PUMA clothing, shoes and bags with “Boycott” written over the logo, using the hashtag #RebrandPUMA.

Stephanie Adam, of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), said:

PUMA’s sponsorship of the Israel Football Association gives legitimacy to Israel’s expanding illegal settlement regime. Israel’s settlements are nothing more than illegal land grabs that force indigenous Palestinian families from their land. PUMA’s claim of a “devotion to universal equality” is a slap in the face of Palestinian families subjected to Israel’s home demolitions, military checkpoints and Apartheid Wall.

If PUMA wants to show real devotion to “universal equality, sports fans and supporters of Palestinian human rights around the world insist, it should end its support for Israel’s violations of international law and assaults on Palestinian families.

The Israel Football Association has refused to take measures to end its complicity in Israel’s settlement enterprise, despite condemnation by a UN advisor, more than 150 elected officials, including members of European Parliament, Swiss Parliament, Danish Parliament and the British House of Commons, civil society and human rights groups representing millions, and prominent public figures.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) was initiated in 2004 to contribute to the struggle for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality.

PACBI advocates for the boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions, given their deep and persistent complicity in Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights as stipulated in international law.