Palestinian football clubs urge adidas to cut ties with the Israel Football Association over illegal settlement teams
A letter signed by 130 Palestinian football clubs urged adidas to end its sponsorship agreement due to the Israel Football Association's (IFA) complicity in violations of international law. According to the letter, “[t]he IFA sponsors football matches in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.” The letter claims that “[a]didas is lending its brand to cover up and whitewash Israel’s human rights abuses…giv[ing] international cover to [its] illegal settlements.” The letter cautions that adidas may be eligible for inclusion in the UN’s database of complicit companies doing business in or with Israel’s illegal settlements.
Adidas responded to these allegations after which the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) prepared a rejoinder in response. Both statements are available below.
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Author: Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
... We welcome Adidas’ commitment to “uphold human rights standards and norms,” and its call on FIFA to respect human rights and international law “on the question of the Israeli settlement teams.” We appeal to Adidas to follow its own advice: to respect international law and Palestinian human rights by ending its sponsorship of the IFA as long as it hosts clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli settlements violate Palestinian human rights. They are built on stolen Palestinian land and restrict Palestinians’ freedom of movement and access to water, fertile lands and livelihoods. Furthermore, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israeli settlements are war crimes. This makes Adidas complicit in serious Israeli human rights violations through its IFA sponsorship... Adidas says it works in accordance with the UN’s Guiding Principles. It is based on these guiding principles that the UN Human Rights Council has established a database of companies complicit in Israel’s occupation. Adidas risks being included in this database... On its web site, Adidas states that where it finds “potential or actual adverse impacts” on human rights, it is “committed to mitigate or eliminate those impacts” and... "to do no harm when it comes to the exercise and fulfilment of human rights.” We urge Adidas to “do no harm” to Palestinian human rights, and to cancel its... sponsorship of the [IFA].
adidas responded to human rights concerns regarding its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association
Fundamentally, adidas acts in a politically neutral way. We equip teams with sportswear, athletic footwear and equipment for one goal: to promote sports and to be associated with sports. adidas holds outfitting contracts with several national teams in the world, among others with the Israeli Football Association (IFA). We do support and uphold human rights standards and norms and 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.
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More than 130 Palestinian sports clubs urge Adidas to end sponsorship of Israel Football Association over settlement teams
Author: Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, Mondoweiss
... [O]ver 130 Palestinian football clubs and sports associations called on German sportswear giant Adidas to end its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA) over its inclusion of football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land... The letter notes that “UN Security Council Resolution 2334 denounces Israeli settlements as flagrant violations of international law” and cautions the world’s second largest sportswear manufacturer that its sponsorship of the IFA makes it eligible for inclusion in the UN’s database of complicit companies doing business in or with Israel’s illegal settlements. The Palestinian clubs further warn that the company’s continued complicity with Israel’s settlement enterprise “may expose it to consumer-led boycott campaigns in the Arab world and globally.” Hind Awwad from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) said: Adidas relies heavily on football league and club sponsorships to raise its brand awareness. However, being associated with the IFA as it tramples Palestinian rights will implicate Adidas in Israel’s egregious human rights violations, including illegal settlements, home demolitions, and land grabs throughout the occupied Palestinian territory...
... The IFA sponsors football matches in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as exposed by Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations. There are six Israeli football clubs located in Israel’s settlements, on stolen Palestinian land, that Palestinians are not allowed to enter. Israel’s settlements contribute to serious human rights abuses and are a direct cause for restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement, access to natural resources and ability to build homes and conduct business... As the main international sponsor of the IFA, Adidas is lending its brand to cover up and whitewash Israel’s human rights abuses, including against Palestinian footballers. Palestinian players are routinely attacked, imprisoned and killed. They are denied the freedom of movement to attend their own matches. Palestinian stadiums have been bombed and destroyed. Israel even prevents Palestinians from importing football equipment and developing football facilities. Adidas’ sponsorship of the IFA legitimises and gives international cover to Israel’s illegal settlements...