Action Alert

Giro d’Italia and Tour de France: Road Closed to Genocide

Palestinians call for more protests than ever against the participation of the Israeli government-sponsored team in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France cycling races this year. Let’s make sure the road is closed to genocide.

Israel is plausibly committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, as ruled by the International Court of Justice. International sporting bodies have a moral obligation to take all measures to prevent genocide, or risk being held criminally liable.

Yet two of the world’s top cycling races are planning to allow Team Genocide to participate, helping Israel sportswash its gravest crimes.

The Giro d’Italia (4 - 26 May) and the Tour de France (29 June - 21 July) are shamefully rewarding the Israeli government-sponsored cycling team, even as Israel murders more than 33,000 Palestinians in Gaza, even as it intentionally uses starvation as a weapon of war to engineer a famine in Gaza, even as it deliberately fires on Palestinians desperately seeking what little aid enters Gaza and the aid workers delivering it, even as it commits sporticide, killing Palestinian athletes and destroying Palestinian sports facilities.

The Israeli cycling team was created by Canadian-Israeli billionaire Sylvan Adams with the stated goal of sportswashing Israel’s 75-year-long regime of military occupation and apartheid, and now its genocide. Adams has described Israel’s genocide against Palestinians in Gaza in shamefully racist terms of “good vs. evil and civilization against barbarism.” He has called world leaders “useful idiots” for merely urging Israel to stop “this killing of women, of children, of babies.”

Israel is able to commit this livestreamed genocide and continue what Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have determined to be a 75-year apartheid regime with complete impunity because of the failure of international bodies to uphold international law by sanctioning Israel.  

UCI, the international body governing cycling, claims to be a “politically neutral organization.” UCI immediately sanctioned Russia just days into its illegal aggression against Ukraine, suspending all Russian and Belarussian teams and banning all UCI events in Russia and Belarus. Yet in a show of typical Western hypocrisy, UCI has not only closed an eye to Israel’s decades-long record of grave crimes against Palestinians, but is now helping to sportswash Israel’s Gaza genocide.

This is not the first time UCI, the Giro d’Italia, and the Tour de France have rendered themselves complicit in Israel’s sportswashing of its grave crimes against Palestinians. We salute the many groups and cycling fans in Italy and France that have organized protests over the participation of Team Apartheid Israel along the routes of the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.

Hypocritical international sporting bodies will only meet their obligation to ban genocidal Israel from sports if, as sports journalist Dave Zirin has said, we make them. Let’s do that.

We call for more protests than ever along the race routes of the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, which will start from Italy this year. Let’s make sure the road is closed to genocide perpetrators.

Join us and help ensure that UCI, the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France get the message: there is no place in cycling for genocide.

For more information on Giro d’Italia and Tour de France mobilizations, contact us at:   


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