Campaigners force global sports brand PUMA to drop sponsorship of Israel Football Association (IFA) over involvement in illegal settlements
- The IFA includes clubs in Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in contravention of international law
- PUMA has faced huge public pressure over its links with IFA
- PSC branches across Britain have played an active role in the sustained boycott campaign
Following years of campaigning by the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, global sports brand PUMA has been forced to end its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA). The IFA includes football clubs in illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Israeli settlements are built on land stolen from Palestinians, and are considered war crimes under international law.
First agreed in 2018, PUMA’s decision to sponsor the IFA has been meet with widespread criticism. Over 200 Palestinian sports teams have called on PUMA to end its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association, describing how “Puma’s sponsorship of the IFA legitimises and gives international cover to Israel’s illegal settlements” and helps “whitewash Israel’s human rights abuses” including its routine violence against Palestinian footballers.
Israel’s current bombardment of Gaza has killed more than 18,000 Palestinians, including thousands of children. The global outcry over the indiscriminate killing of civilians and attacks on infrastructure including hospitals, has put unprecedented pressure on corporations associated with Israel’s violations of international law, including its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
PUMA has lost millions of pounds in lucrative contracts because of pressure applied by the campaign. PSC branches have been part of this sustained campaign, organising regular pickets, protests and vigils for several years outside Puma stores and at Puma events all over the UK.
Ben Jamal, PSC Director, said:
“Palestinians are currently facing unprecedented violence at the hands of the Israeli military. As the world calls for a permanent ceasefire, corporations continue to profit from the killing and destruction. We need to end this complicity.
PUMA’s decision is an important victory that shows the power of the solidarity movement. We’ve sent all corporations a powerful message: if you choose to be complicit in Israeli apartheid, you will face the strength of the solidarity movement. We will continue to grow our BDS campaigns against banks like Barclays and corporations like JCB, who are complicit in Israel’s system of apartheid.”