'Arabs boycott Adidas for sponsoring J'lem marathon'

Youth and sports ministers declare boycott saying marathon's route "misguides public into believing J'lem is Israel's capital."

April 5, 2012 12:34
Runners in Jerusalem Marathon pass Old City

Runners in Jerusalem Marathon pass Old City 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Youth and sports ministers from Arab League countries Wednesday announced a boycott of Adidas and other sponsors of last month's Jerusalem Marathon, AFP reported.

Announcing the move, Saudi Prince Nawaf bin Faisal said, "All companies that have sponsored the marathon of Jerusalem, including Adidas, will be boycotted," according to the report. Israel, he claimed, was using the marathon to "misguide public opinion into believing that Jerusalem is its capital."

In late 2010, three Jerusalem City Council members from the opposition sent a warning letter to Adidas, calling on it to withdraw from sponsorship of the race if the municipality did not remove east Jerusalem segments from the route.City Council members from Meretz Pepe Alalu, Laura Wharton and Meir Margalit all signed the letter.

The Arab ministers also announced they would hold an alternative marathon next year to coincide with the Jerusalem Marathon, called, "Jerusalem is Ours."

Melanie Lidman contributed to this report.

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