Published on 7 October 2020

Stop Boycott - Boycott against the Tour de France Israeli team: Francis Kalifat calls on cycling federations

A few days before the beginning of the Tour de France, Crif President called on cycling federations to alert them on an odious campaign of delegitimization against the Israeli team.
Photo: IsraelCyclingAcademy Instagram Account
The fight against the call for boycott and against the de-legitimization of Israel is one of Crif's priorities. Thereby, it seemed important for Crif President express the indignation of the institution toward the odious campaign - led by the BDS and the boycott movements - against the Israeli cycling team participating in the Tour de France.
Before the beginning of the Tour, Francis Kalifat addressed letters to the Presidents of the International Cycling Union, and of the French Cycling Federation, to Mr. Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, as well as to Mrs. Roxana Maracineanu, French Minister of Sports, in order to have their attention to this affair, which shamefully neglects the values ​​expected in this kind of competition.
"A few days before the grand start of the Tour de France 2020, I would like to point out a very problematic campaign circulating on social networks and which greatly discredits the sportsmanship of the Tour de France.
For the first time in the history of the Tour de France, an Israeli team will participate under the colors of "Israel Startup nation". However, for the past few days, several political groups engaged in the de-legitimation of the State of Israel have called for a boycott of the Israeli cycling team.
These movements - all close to the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) organization - by inciting their activists to boycott this team and to demonstrate during the various stages of the Tour, deliberately provoke hatred and violence. [...] " wrote Francis Kalifat.
The President of the French Cycling Federation Michel Callot replied to Francis Kalifat and regretted the existence of such a de-legitimation campaign around the Tour de France. "I deeply regret that we can try to use sport, and the Tour de France - the largest cycling event in the world - to serve political interests." he specified in his letter.
A few days later, the President of the International Cycling Union David Lappartient also replied. He assured Francis Kalifat that the Union would bring to the case so that the race would not be used for political purposes.
Always concerned with respecting the universal values ​​of sportsmanship, Crif believes that these repeated calls for boycott and hatred have no place around such events.
As a reminder, French law prohibits and punishes boycott (1), as well as calls to boycott (2).
1) It defines as discrimination "the fact of hindering the normal exercise of any economic activity" (article 225-2 penal code) on the basis of "membership or non-membership, true or supposed, to an ethnic group, a Nation, a so-called race or a specific religion. "(Art.225-1) and punishes her" with three years' imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros ".
2) It punishes as provocation "Those who will have provoked discrimination, hatred or violence towards a person or a group of persons because of their origin or their belonging or not belonging to a specific ethnicity, nation, race or religion to imprisonment for one year and a fine of € 45,000 (24 paragraph 8 of the law of July 29, 1881).