French-Israeli member of the French National Assembly Meyer Habib condemned a recent campaign launched by the BDS organization Palestine Will Win, which ridiculed and named the French riders of Israel Start-Up Nation (ISN) – the Israeli professional cycling team – claiming that by participating in the 2020 Tour de France they are in turn supporting “Israeli apartheid through sport.”
The campaign, shared reluctantly to Habib’s official Facebook account, called on the public to personally comment and shame the French riders – notably Rudy Barbier, Hugo Hofstetter and Alexis Renard – for participating in the 2020 Tour, under Israeli colors.
“These three French riders will compete in the Tour de France under the colors of the ‘Israel Startup Nation’ group ‘To promote the Israeli apartheid through sports. Do not hesitate to write a comment on each of their private pages in order to ask them not to participate in this scandalous activity,” the campaign stated.
TOUR DE FRANCE 2020 – DECHAINEMENT DE HAINE ET DE MENACES CONTRE L’EQUIPE « ISRAEL START-UP NATION » ! QUELLE TERRIBLE…
Posted by Meyer Habib on Thursday, August 20, 2020
Some comments called for the harm of the riders, alluding to “a sniper on the Tour,” referring to the act of gunning down Israel Start-Up Nation riders as “‘bird shooting’ as they do in Palestine.”
Another BDS organization, AFPS-BDSF, wrote on their official Facebook page that “twenty organizations of Palestine Collective 63, work for justice and peace between Israelis and Palestinians. They will distribute flyers on and around the track, and will promote a number of actions in order to condemn the Israeli crime laundering enterprise, and the cooperation of the Tour de France in this matter.”
“While the United Arab Emirates have reached a historic peace agreement with Israel, and many Arab countries are aiming for normalization, the BDS launches a campaign of hatred and threats, just days before the start of the 2020 Tour de France, against the Israel Startup Nation team,” Habib said.
“The Tour de France is a national institution. Since 1903 it has been a celebration of cycling, a French celebration due to its diversity, the pleasure of being together and watching exceptional performances. There is no room for stigma and hatred. Hate ranging from calling for sabotage to physical aggression and even murder on the backdrop of Islamic-leftist antisemitism,” he added. “Some examples out of hundreds of responses: ‘Sniper on the track,’ ‘wildlife to be slaughtered,’ ‘They want to be everywhere like sewer rats,”throwing nails on the road,’ and more.”
Habib noted that he is currently writing to the Interior Minister, and copying the prime minister, on a request to provide “concrete measures” against BDS to address the issue and ensure the safety of the Israel Start-Up Nation riders – who he sends wishes of good fortune to.
“Should the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics be mentioned? For years I keep warning: BDS feeds an atmosphere of antisemitic hatred. It actually influences and encourages the transition. That same hatred is directed against Israel, against the Jews of France, the police, the republic, the state and its symbols,” Habib concluded.