Belgian activists confront sportswashing of Israeli apartheid in cycling

Several members and sympathizers of the Plate-Forme Charleroi-Palestine mobilized on 18 May at the  “Circuit de Wallonie” cycling race in Belgium against the participation of a propaganda team for Israeli apartheid and colonialism. Carrying large banners and Palestinian flags, these supporters of justice in Palestine expressed their rejection of Israel’s sportswashing of its war crimes in Palestine.

Activists gathered in two places along the route to challenge the presence of the so-called Israel Premier Tech team, self-described as an “Ambassador of Israel.” In the towns of Gozée and Jamioulx, the activists received a warm and supportive reception from the people of the area. Local residents allowed the activists to post Palestinian flags on their homes or to join in supporting the demonstration.

This is not the first time that the Plate-Forme, a member organization of the Samidoun Network, has organized such actions. Activists for justice in Palestine were also present in March, along the Course pour la Paix d’Ypres, at the Ghent-Wevelgem race, and at  the Tour de France in Cerfontaine and the Tour de Wallonie in Courcelles in July. 2022. In Belgium, an action also took place this year during the Liège-Bastogne-Liège race.

In many other countries, activists are also mobilizing against the Israel Premier Tech team’s participation in cycling races. In France, many collectives and committees mobilize each year against the participation of this team in the Tour de France. In addition, similar initiatives have also taken place in the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland and Canada.

Source: Plate-Forme Charleroi-Palestine