Delta Galil Industries is among 112 companies found to have “enabled, facilitated and profited from” the growth of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
The German sportswear giant Puma has been the target of the Palestinian-led Boycott Puma campaign since October 2018 due to its kit sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA). Palestinian sports clubs had previously called on Puma to end its relationship with the IFA, which allows teams based in settlements on stolen land to compete in its leagues and competitions. Activists in over twenty countries have since demonstrated at the firm’s premises, urging customers to “give Puma the boot” until it ends its support for Israeli war crimes.
Now Delta Galil – the Israeli licensee used by Puma to supply kit to the Israel national football teams – has been included in the UN Human Rights Council’s long-awaited database of rogue companies that have “enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction and growth” of Israel’s settlements in the OPTs, in violation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The research centre Who Profits from the Occupation has documented Delta Galil Industries’ activities in four different Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank where it profits from cheap rents, resources and a captive workforce all at the expense of the land’s rightful owners.
The UNHRC database has been in preparation since the Human Rights Council’s 31st session in 2016 and puts a formal stamp on Delta Galil’s illicit activity, from which Puma benefits.
Puma markets itself as a socially responsible firm through its #REFORM campaign, and its Code of Ethics states that it “[rejects] any violation of human rights by suppliers, and any form of forced labor, and exploitative child labor or discrimination in any form” – a claim that is flatly contradicted by its dealings with Delta Galil. The Puma brand – already damaged by the Boycott Puma campaign – will surely take a further hit and the sportswear giant may soon decide that it can no longer afford the reputational damage associated with the theft of Palestinian land and resources.