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Human rights groups urge Giro dā€™Italia to move race from Israel

A meme urging the famed cycling race Giro dā€™Italia to relocate the start of its 2018 race from Israel
A meme urging the famed cycling race Giro dā€™Italia to relocate the start of its 2018 race from Israel

More than 120 human rights organisations, unions, ethical tourism associations, sports and faith-based groups from over 20 countries have urged premier cycling event Giro dā€™Italia to move its 2018 ā€œBig Startā€ from Israel over the latterā€™s violations of international law and Palestiniansā€™ human rights.

The call was issued ahead of the official race presentation on 29 November in Milan, which coincides with the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

According to the signatories, holding the Giro dā€™Italia in Israel will ā€œboth cover up Israelā€™s military occupation and discrimination against Palestinians and increase Israelā€™s sense of impunity, encouraging continued denial of Palestiniansā€™ UN-stipulated rightsā€.

Individuals who have backed the call include Noam Chomsky, former United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Palestinian rights John Dugard and Richard Falk, and European Parliament members Eleonora Forenza, Curzio Maltese and Sergio Cofferati.

Read:Ā With anti-BDS laws and a pro-Israel parliament, Zionist hasbara is winning in Italy

As part of organising the ā€œBig Startā€ event, Giro dā€™Italia is working with Israeli company Comtec Group, which has activities in illegal Israeli settlements. Meanwhile, in official race materials, Giro dā€™Italia is occupied East Jerusalem as if it were part of Israel.

Just days before the Giro dā€™Italia is to take place, the Israeli national cycling team, which is vying for one of four wildcard slots to compete in the Giro dā€™Italia, will participate in a race through occupied East Jerusalem to the illegal settlement of Pisgat Zeā€™ev.

The call urges race owner RCS MediaGroup ā€œto move the start of the race to another country to ensure no involvement in Israeli violations of international law and Palestinian human rightsā€.

The signatories also remind RCS, participating teams and sponsors of ā€œthe legal consequences and reputational damage stemming from collaborating with Israeli institutions and companies involved in violations of human rights and international lawā€.

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