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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Jerusalem City Councilors ask Adidas to boycott marathon

Three Leftist Jerusalem City Councilors have called on Adidas, one of the Jerusalem Marathon's sponsors, to withdraw its sponsorship of the event because the course is planned to pass through 'east' Jerusalem.
“There’s no reason why it needs to go through the eastern part of the city,” said City Councilman Pepe Alalu (Meretz), who heads the opposition. “A marathon does not bring Jews and Arabs together. This is just an aggressive move.”

The letter was co-signed by Laura Wharton and Meir Margalit, both of Meretz.

The current route of the marathon, which will be held on March 25, starts at the Knesset and takes runners all the way out to Pisgat Ze’ev, before circling Hebrew University, entering the Old City at the Zion Gate, wending its way through the hills of Rehavia and Talpiyot to the promenade, and finally doubling back to the Knesset.

“As members of the Jerusalem City Council, we feel it is our duty to inform you that this year, the path of the marathon is due to run through parts of east Jerusalem that are considered occupied territory by the international community and by us,” the Meretz letter to Adidas stated.

“For that reason, we object to the marathon as it is now planned and believe it is important that you realize that a significant portion of the Israeli population as well as an overwhelming majority of the general population abroad will doubtless express their opposition once the details of the marathon are made public,” it continued.

City Councilman Elisha Peleg (Likud), who holds the sport portfolio, accused the opposition of skewering every initiative and event that the municipality created.

“A small part of it runs through east Jerusalem because east Jerusalem is part of Jerusalem, and that’s not political; it’s factual,” he said.

He added that if the marathon’s route did not go through east Jerusalem, people would complain that the municipality was ignoring half of the residents.
It doesn't sound like they're passing through a single Arab neighborhood. But while Peleg is convinced that Adidas is concerned with sports and not with politics, I'm afraid he's being a little overconfident. If Adidas starts getting hit with boycotts over this, they are likely to react. The city should be taking actions to make sure that Adidas is on the same page with them.

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At 8:34 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

That's why Meretz will a remain a minority... moreso after Obama pulled the rug out from under the Israeli Left by dropping his demand for revanant freeze! Its so hard to move the world against Israel in the twilight of the year. Meretz is Sisyphus trying to push that boulder up the hill.



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