After international pressure from the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, Honda has decided to move a motorcycle racing show from an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank.
Honda's distributor in Israel had launched plans to hold the MotoGP event on a race track partially built inside of a “live firing zone” near the Petzael Israeli settlement.
The BDS movement and other Japanese human rights organizations wrote an open letter to Honda asking to them reconsider the Israeli chapter's decision to carry out the event at such a controversial site where the violation of the human rights continues to take place and warned them that they could face an international boycott.
“The announcement from Honda that the motor race it sponsors will no longer take place in an illegal Israeli settlement shows the BDS movement’s growing impact on international corporations that are complicit in Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization, and apartheid,” Jamal Juma, a member of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), told The Electronic Intifada.
Honda Israel has decided to relocate the event to Arad, a city in southern Naqab within the internationally accepted Israeli borders.
The BDS movement thinks the decision is not enough since Arad is a city involved in many human rights violations that incite racism against African immigrants.
The racing star, the 20-year-old motorcyclist Joe Roberts, said he didn't know he would participate in an event in an Israeli settlement illegal under international law.
“I wasn’t given a lot of details in the beginning, other than that the track was in Israel,” Roberts wrote to the publication. “I would not have attended the event had it been in the West Bank.”
His representative agency APEX Motorsport declared Roberts “will NOT under any circumstances” participate in events scheduled in the occupied West Bank.