Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), urge all speakers to withdraw from PUMA’s “Conference of the People” in London on 6 September.
While we welcome corporations taking meaningful steps to reduce their impact on the planet, this must be consistent with respect for human rights. Palestinian civil society, including 200 Palestinian sports teams, has called for a global boycott of PUMA for the last few years, due to PUMA’s complicity in human rights abuses against them. PUMA is the main international sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which governs and advocates on behalf of football clubs in illegal Israeli settlements, on land stolen from Palestinians.
As Sari Bashi, of Human Rights Watch, writes “Israeli settlements in the West Bank contribute to serious human rights abuses. The settlement clubs play their home games on land unlawfully seized from Palestinians… The settlements are also a direct cause of harsh restrictions on Palestinians’ freedom of movement, access to natural resources and ability to run businesses or build homes.”
As environmental and climate justice organisations, including Friends of the Earth International and Fridays for Future, have stated, the struggle for Palestinian rights is a climate justice issue.
As the main international sponsor of the IFA, PUMA 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.
PUMA is using this conference to promote itself as ethical and sustainable – while continuing its complicity in grave human rights violations against Palestinians.
Over the last few years, more than one hundred thousand people of conscience all over the world, and professional and amateur sports teams, including Forest Green Rovers, the greenest football club in the world, have responded to the Palestinian call urging PUMA to live up to its stated commitment to human rights by ending its support for Israeli apartheid.
We urge all speakers to respect the call of Palestinians and withdraw from PUMA’s event.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the largest organisation in Britain working in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for justice.
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, part of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the broadest Palestinian civil society coalition resisting Israeli apartheid as part of the Palestinian struggle for justice,