Apr 5 2012
Led by Hamas, the Arab League is calling for a boycott of Adidas and other sponsors of the Jerusalem Marathon, saying the Marathon’s route “misguides” the public into believing Jerusalem is Israel’s’capital.
Announcing the move, Saudi Prince Nawaf bin Faisal said, “All companies that have sponsored the marathon of Jerusalem, including Adidas, will be boycotted,” according to the report. Israel, he claimed, was using the marathon to “misguide public opinion into believing that Jerusalem is its capital.”
The Arab ministers also announced they would hold an alternative marathon next year to coincide with the Jerusalem Marathon, called, “Jerusalem is Ours.”
TLJ As more than 15,000 runners from 50 countries prepared for the Jerusalem Marathon which was held last month, Hamas was busy organizing a protest against it.
According to a report in the Ma’ariv newspaper, Hamas’ Gaza-based Ministry of Sports organized a demonstration against the famous sportswear company Adidas on Thursday, in protest of the sponsorship it gave the Jerusalem Marathon. During the demonstration, participants burned shirts with the Adidas company logo.
The Arabs’ anger, the Ma’ariv report explained, is over the fact that the runners passed through the Old City in east Jerusalem, a fact which, in the protesters’ eyes, is a reflection of Israel’s continued policy of “Judaization” of Jerusalem.
The protest, which was entitled “Action to support the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to Boycott Adidas,” began with a soccer match between two youth teams from Gaza. After the game, the protesters gathered shirts with the Adidas logo, under which the words “boycott Adidas products” were written, and set fire to them.
The event was attended by senior department heads in Hamas’ Sports Ministry. The Ministry’s director of public relations was quoted by Ma’ariv as having said that the purpose of the protest was “to call the world’s attention to what is happening in occupied Jerusalem.”
The report said that earlier this week, Hamas’ Sports Ministry sent a letter to the Adidas company in which it demanded that it reverse its decision to sponsor the Jerusalem Marathon. Meanwhile, a new Facebook page entitled “Boycott Adidas” has been opened, the report said.
“Judaization of Jerusalem” has recently become the new catchphrase of Palestinian Authority complaints about Israel’s historically Jewish capital.