Jerusalem Marathon held in face of Palestinian, international opposition 24Mar11 March 25, 2011

The Alternative Information Centre -  24 March 2011

The first international Jerusalem Marathon, sponsored by Adidas, will be held on 25 March, despite widespread protests of such an event in an occupied city.  The Israeli army is using the marathon to train soldiers. While the marathon will be held, demands that Adidas meet its own sustainability policies are still crucial.

The Adidas-sponsored first international Jerusalem marathon will be held tomorrow (25 March), despite local and international protests of corporate support for an event in the occupied city.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Holy Places, Muhammad Hussein, said this week that “Israeli is exploiting sports as a policy tool to Judaise the city and force its positions onto Palestinian areas.” By conducting a marathon in Jerusalem, Hussein argues, Israel is sending a message to the world as if the Muslim and Christian holy places belong to it.” The Mufti further notes that Israel’s plan to close all roads leading to the Al Aqsa Mosque on Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, is yet further discrimination against the city’s Palestinian population.

Local and international protest did result in a slight change of the marathon route, which was initially slated to go through the Israeli colony of Pisgat Zeev. This change, however, is completely unrelated to the overall problematic nature of Adidas’ partnership with the Jerusalem Municipality, the primary Israeli body implementing colonisation of the city and demolition of Palestinian homes.

The Israeli army is also involved in the marathon, which has a special course and starting time for soldiers participating in the event. The marathon is thus serving as a training exercise for Israeli soldiers.

Adidas claims to adhere to a corporate policy of sustainability, noting that “our business has an impact on communities around the world.” Adidas further claims that “Our commitment and strategy is rooted in the Group’s core value ‘Integrity’, expressing that we are honest, open, ethical and fair. People trust us to adhere to our word.”

By partnering with the Jerusalem Municipality and sponsoring an international marathon in the occupied city of Jerusalem, Adidas is being anything but ethical and fair. Let them know: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Phone: +49 (0) 9132-84-0
Fax: +49 (0) 9132-84-3242

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