Open letter from the BDS France Campaign and the Association France Palestine Solidarité to Mr. David LAPPARTIENT, President of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale)

La lettre envoyée par la Campagne BDS France et l’AFPS au Président de l’Union Cycliste Internationale a été traduite par l’association québécoise PAJU.

To the president of the UCI,

On December 24, 2021, we sent you a letter to express our indignation at the fact that the authorities responsible for the Tour de France agreed to register, in international competitions, the « Israel Start-Up Nation » team, now named  » Israel-Premier Tech”.

You then replied to us in the attachment affixed to the email that it was not possible for you to refuse the participation of the Israeli team for reasons which would be « of a political nature in particular ». However, we note that you have just excluded from international competitions three Russian cycling teams, including the main Russian formation Gazprom-RusVelo and three Belarusian cycling teams, by withdrawing their UCI status.

You accompanied your decision with a statement “ firmly condemns the aggression of the Russian and Belarusian governments ”, as the official communiqué that you published states: The UCI takes strong measures in the face of the situation in Ukraine

Through this decision and the reasons given, the UCI has just provided blatant proof that it can exclude teams and cyclists for reasons that have nothing to do with sporting criteria.

For its part, Israel has violated international law and has been attacking Palestinian territory and people for more than 70 years. Numerous reports from recognized international bodies confirm that Israel is an apartheid state, the latest report being Amnesty International’s report entitled “ Israel’s Apartheid Against the Palestinians. A cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity ”. Moreover, one objective of this team, as declared by its owner, the Israeli-Canadian billionaire Silvan Adams, is to show an exemplary image of Israel and to present this country as a  » vibrant and robust democracy, a free, open country, tolerant and diversified « , which is a total contradiction with the reality mentioned above.

We therefore urge you to also suspend the participation of the Israel-Premier Tech team to bring you into compliance with your position and your decisions taken against the Russian and Belarusian teams.

In anticipation of your response, we send you, Mr. President, our sincere greetings.