The Palestinian-led international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, together with Palestinian athletes and sports clubs are mounting pressure on sports brand PUMA to end its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA) through a social media.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is also rallying support for the campaign through social media under the hashtag #BoycottPuma. Supporters are asked to share pictures with a sign that reads “Boycott PUMA. End sponsorship of Israeli settlement teams on stolen Palestinian land.”
BDS has denounced the IFA for including “football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements to participate in its leagues and competitions. The Israeli military occupation expels Palestinian families, including children, from their homes to give way for these settlements. Israeli settlements are considered as war crimes under international law.”
In the context of the recently-postponed demolition of a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank, Khan al-Ahmar, International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda reminded Israel that the “extensive destruction of property without military necessity and population transfers in an occupied territory constitute war crimes under the Rome Statute."
Two actions Israel carries out systematically in the expansion of Jewish-only settlements across the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.
Earlier this year, Adidas dropped the IFA after an international campaign that delivered over 16,000 signatures in support of the petition.
Last month more than 200 Palestinian sports club wrote a letter to Puma CEO Bjorn Gulden and all the members of the company’s Management and Supervisory Board requesting them to drop the IFA “due to its deep complicity in Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.”
In 2017, United Nations Special Rapporteur Richard Falk signed a collective letter to FIFA criticizing the “selective enforcement of its own rules, which prohibit any member federation from holding matches on the territory of another without the latter’s approval.”
However, neither FIFA nor the IFA has acted accordingly.
In September's letter, the Palestinian sports club warned Puma that as the main international sponsor of Israel’s federation and national team it is “lending its brand to cover up and whitewash Israel’s human rights abuses.”