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by Shane Stokes
December 1, 2017
Giro d’Italia diffuses tension with Israel over contested term; Palestinians protest Giro organiser’s change in terminology about race start in Jerusalem; Israel Cycling Academy founder predicts team will be in Giro d’Italia; Gimondi tips Froome for Giro success; Defending champions Van Vleuten & Arndt to return to Cadel’s Race; Commentary: The hubris of Chris Froome’s Giro d’Italia bid; Malseed amongst Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank lineup for Santos Women’s Tour Down Under; Multiple Spanish champion Sanchis choses motherhood over pro cycling; Video: See Greg LeMond’s acting debut in The Bottle Runner Part 3; Video: Toronto Hustle team’s Hold Fast episode 5.
In response to the backtracking by Giro d’Italia organisers RCS Sport over the use of the term West Jerusalem during Wednesday’s route launch of the race (see above), Palestinian human rights campaigners have expressed criticism. “By threatening to withdraw sponsorship of the race over references to “West Jerusalem,” Israel offered Giro d’Italia an “exit strategy” to end its complicity in Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinians’ human rights,” said Stephanie Adam of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel on Thursday.
“Giro d’Italia, instead, shamefully chose to bow to Israeli pressure and recognise Israel’s illegal annexation of occupied East Jerusalem, contravening international law and the Italian government’s own position. Giro d’Italia is reinforcing Israel’s illegal claim of sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem, when no country recognises Israel’s sovereignty over East Jerusalem nor any part of Jerusalem, East or West, as Israel’s capital.”
She said that the Giro was ‘complicit’ in covering up the actions of what she said was an oppressive government operating outside the rule of law. Adam also said that the Giro’s talk about keeping politics out of sport was “nothing more than lip service to deflect criticism for its acceptance of a large Israeli bribe in return for politicizing the race and using its name to whitewash human rights violations.”
She called on the UCI to act, saying it was time for the governing body to avoid the “tarnishing [of] one of the world’s most beloved cycling races. Giro d’Italia announced Plan B must be put into effect immediately by relocating the race. We hear Puglia is lovely in the spring.”
Wednesday’s race launch was held on the same date as the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Cycling-themed protests were held in various locations in Italy.
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