MPPM condemns the start of Giro d'Italia in Israel

Giro d'Italia, one of the most prestigious races of international cycling, will start this year in Israel on 4-7 May.
MPPM joins the «International Appeal: Relocating the" Great Start "of Giro d'Italia from Israel» and the international day of protest on 10 March, condemning Israel's whitewashing operation.
The organizers of the Giro d'Italia are thus collaborating in the "celebrations" of the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel. The Israeli authorities themselves do not hide that this is a major political cosmetic operation, of «normalization» of the State of Israel.
But Israel is not a «normal» country, rather it is the only country in the world that does not declare its borders, the country that has violated and continues to violate the UN resolutions, enjoying unacceptable complicity and complacency.
Israel is founded on a deliberate and ruthless ethnic cleansing, and when Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary, the Palestinian people painfully recalls the 70 years of the Nakba, the catastrophe, that has forced the expulsion of more than 700,000 Palestinians, Muslims and Christians, still unable to return today.
Israel has continued to illegally occupy the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem for more than 50 years and practices a ruthless repression on its people, killing thousands and arresting hundreds of thousands. Israel refuses to return to their families the bodies of hundreds of Palestinians killed by its repressive forces. Israel is continuing construction of an ignominious Wall that robs Palestinian territory, separates populations from their cultivated land and prevents the free movement of Palestinians on their own land. Violating the Fourth Geneva Convention and UN resolutions, more than 600,000 Israeli settlers reside in hundreds of settlements located in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, whose de facto or even formal annexation is ongoing. Israel has for more than ten years imposed a criminal blockade on the Gaza Strip, putting its population on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe. Israel, which claims to be «the only democracy in the Middle East», only gives full rights to its Jewish citizens by discriminating the Palestinian citizens of Israel through a series of laws.
The Giro d'Italia has marked its beginning to Jerusalem, whose eastern part is occupied territory under international law. The recent decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital cannot alter this, even if it provokes a well-founded repudiation, especially considering the continued ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population with a view to complete Judaizing of the city.
No, Israel is not a «normal» country, and sports cannot serve to whitewash the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people, neither the 10 million euros that the organizers of the Giro d'Italia will have received to there begin the race can hide.
MPPM considers all attempts to «normalize» Israeli crimes to be unacceptable and calls for no Portuguese cyclist to participate in this operation to whitewash the brutal reality of ethnic cleansing, occupation and discrimination practiced by that country.
MPPM reaffirms its solidarity with the Palestinian people in the struggle for their inalienable national rights, for the building of the free, independent, sovereign and viable state of Palestine on the pre-1967 borders, with capital in East Jerusalem, with a just solution to the situation of Palestinian refugees under international law and relevant UN resolutions.
Lisbon, March 10, 2018
MPPM National Directorate
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