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Recently, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) declared a “BDS victory” after Luton Town Football Club announced that they were changing their kit sponsor from Puma to Umbro.

In recent years, Puma have been targeted by the PSC and Boycott Divestment Sanction (BDS) movement because Puma dare to supply the football kits of the Israeli Football Association.

Both movements, not unknown for their vociferous and often violent tactics, as well as their peddling of way too many examples of outright Antisemitic anti-Zionism, wasted no time in taking to social media to declare this action by Luton Town as a “fantastic victory”.

According to one article by an anti-Israel website, a spokesperson for the Luton chapter of PSC, Markus Keaney even said,  “We would like to thank Luton Town FC for their constructive responses to our calls to boycott Puma, and for notifying us directly of their decision to drop the company as their kit supplier,”.

Well, they have every right to declare victories, just as Zionist organisations do.
But not when there is no victory.

On the 29th July, just days after the PSC and BDS movements claimed their “victory” in their usual way – messages loaded with malicious anti-Israel invective – Luton Town Football Club released a statement on their website which shoots down the PSC’s and BDS’s claims as false. Luton Town FC wrote:

We are aware that there have been a number of statements in the public domain from organisations claiming that our decision to change kit supplier is a success for their own causes. We would like to make it a matter of public record that Luton Town FC is an organisation that does not make commercial decisions based upon politics or religious matters, and that our decisions to switch kit supplier was made solely on our own criteria in the current sporting marketplace.”

Read Luton Town FC’s full statement here.

Of course, this statement confirmed what many of us in the Zionist communities already suspected; that LT FC’s decision was based upon commercial decisions and nothing else.
But that hasn’t stopped the PSC or BDS movements from continuing to peddle their false claims. Perhaps Mr Keaney of the Luton Palestine Solidarity Campaign could provide us with proof to support the PSC’s and BDS’s claims?

Best we don’t hold our breath for that, because this latest so-called “victory” – which isn’t a victory at all – is simply one of many examples of both movements claiming victories where they don’t actually exist.

Just two of too many examples of these movements’ false claims include John Lewis and UK bank Blackrock.

In 2008, the John Lewis department store chain accused the  PSC of issuing “false and misleading” information after it published a triumphant press release linking the company’s withdrawal of Ahava products with the BDS campaign. In reality however, John Lewis’s decision to stop selling Ahava products was made in 2008 after a decline in sales. It was a “purely commercial decision”.

In 2009, the BDS movement claimed a “victory” when UK bank Blackrock sold its shares in a company targeted by BDS. Despite Blackrock making a statement saying that their sale had nothing to do with Israel but rather financial concerns due to the targeted company’s poor performance – much like in the case of Luton Town FC – the BDS movement and its supporters continued to claim a “victory”.

Another high profile example of BDS claiming a fake ‘victory’ involved the Deutsche Bank who apparently had divested, upon pressure from BDS, from a small stake in Elbit, an Israeli defence company. In 2011, Deutsche Bank issued a statement saying that the bank did not own any shares to sell and that it had not divested from any Israeli companies.

Of course, there are many more examples of the PSC and BDS movements claiming fake victories – a cursory search of the web will highlight these, amongst them HSBC and Airbnb. In 2019, Airbnb subsequently backtracked from their 2018 decision to delist rental accommodation in Judea and Samaria / the West Bank and also issued a statement disavowing the BDS movement,

In reality (a concept that seemingly, these two movements are all too willing to cast aside), whilst they have both had actual real victories, Israel remains one of the strongest economies in the world, attracting foreign investments from across the globe. Many of the world’s largest companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Intel – to name but a few – have offices in Israel. Aside from this year for the obvious reasons, tourism to Israel has continued to increase, as have UK exports to Israel. (Click here to read more on this issue). Additionally, there are now some 300 small to medium-sized Israeli companies based in he UK alone, many of which are listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Additionally, Facebook recently announced that despite the ongoing home-based working ethos that continues in Israel due to the Coronavirus pandemic, they have taken another two floors in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Sarona tower.
Click here to read more.
Intel recently announced that it is renting four more floors in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Triangular tower despite pandemic real-estate crunch.
Click here to read more on this.

So, to draw this blog piece to a close, let’s return to the original reason for writing it – the PSC’s false claim that Luton Town FC dumped Puma due to BDS pressure. Despite a certain former Labour Party leader claiming that Zionists don’t understand irony, we really do see the irony in Peterborough United FC having just announced Puma as their new kit supplier!
That’s FACT, not fake news!
(Read more about it here).

Perhaps even more ironic is the fact that as one reader – presumably with a keenness for the ‘beautiful game’ – informed us, Puma is poised to release new 2020-2021 kits for all of their sponsored African national teams, including Egypt, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ghana and Morocco.
Oh, and Puma provide the official kit for Manchester City FC, owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the brother of the ruler of the United Arab Emirates.