FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Statement of Solidarity and Support for the International #BoycottPuma Day of Action
DATE: Friday, September 17, 2021
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WASHINGTON, DC: The undersigned chapters of Democratic Socialists of America and other allied organizations listed below endorse the Palestinian-led call to #BoycottPuma until the company ends its sponsorship of the Israeli Football Association (IFA). Puma is the main sponsor of the IFA, an institution which includes six teams in illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land. The IFA has repeatedly rejected calls from UN advisors, elected officials, and human rights groups to end its complicity in illegal Israeli settlements which directly restrict Palestinians’ freedom of movement on their own land. The sports company, Adidas, ended its sponsorship of the IFA in 2018 for this reason after an international pressure campaign, and we join the call to #BoycottPuma until it follows suit.
As socialists, we recognize that working class liberation is intertwined with anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles, and we fully support the Palestinian call for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction of institutions and companies complicit in Israeli apartheid until Palestinians have freedom, justice and equality.
In May of this year, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) murdered Palestinian teenager Saeed Odeh, a 16-year-old soccer player from the town of Odala, near Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank. Saeed was approaching the entrance to his village when he was shot twice in the back by the IOF, and then purposefully left to bleed without any medical attention. Saeed’s soccer club is one of 200 Palestinian soccer clubs that wrote a letter urging Puma to end its sponsorship of Israeli settlement teams in September 2018.
Puma’s sponsorship of the IFA whitewashes Israeli human rights abuses and legitimizes the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. Israel has a history of targeting, imprisoning, and killing Palestinian soccer players, denying Palestinians freedom of movement, and preventing Palestinians from importing soccer equipment and developing their own sports facilities.
Puma masquerades as a company that cares about equality, yet it funds Israeli apartheid through its sponsorship of the IFA. The #BoycottPuma campaign continues to grow, and recently the Oakland Roots Radicals fan club launched a campaign calling on the Oakland Roots Soccer Club to end its deal with Puma. Now is the time for Puma to stand in line with international law and listen to the calls of Palestinians and communities across the world. We join the September 18th Global #BoycottPuma Day of Action by calling on all our members and allies to sign the #BoycottPuma petition and join the BDS movement in boycotting Puma!
Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America
DSA BDS & Palestine Solidarity Working Group
Democratic Socialists of America International Committee
Bloomington-Normal Illinois DSA
Democratic Socialists of America, Sacramento
Democratic Socialists of Salt Lake
DSA San Francisco
East Bay Democratic Socialists of America
Lower Hudson Valley DSA
Milwaukee Democratic Socialists of America
New Orleans DSA
D8 for Justice
Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Maryland
If your organization would like to sign-on to this statement, fill out this Google form (bit.ly/boycottpuma).