Cross-digest of the Giro d'Italia Bike Race in Jerusalem:
"Public normalization: The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are on the normalization train. Giro d'Italia – a race in occupied Jerusalem sponsored by Israel!"
[Video content translation:]
"A Race of Normalization
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are participating in the Giro d'Italia race. The race was launched on May 4th, 2018 from occupied Jerusalem, sponsored by Israel, and will pass through occupied cities and Israeli settlements. Through the race, Israel seeks to obtain legitimacy for the occupation and promote normalization.
[…] The boycott movement against 'Israel' launched a hashtag on Twitter – # Retreat _ your _ bicycle in order to pressure the Bahraini and UAE teams to withdraw. The BDS movement announced that several world-class participants had withdrawn following her calls. BDS Spokesman: 'The race contributes in polishing the image of the Israeli Occupation and its racist policies against the Palestinians, especially in Occupied Jerusalem.'
[…] Will Bahrain and the UAE respond to the calls to boycott?"
– Al-Quds News Network
"Israeli government spokesman Ophir Gendelman published pictures of the UAE and the Bahraini delegation taking part in a marathon of normalization in occupied Jerusalem a short time ago."
– Al-Nawras (News) Twitter
"[…] Today, [Friday] a bicycle marathon in which dozens of cyclists [participated] left Ramallah for the Qalandiya military checkpoint, northern occupied Jerusalem, in response to the Occupation hosting the Giro d'Italia marathon, which is considered to be the third biggest marathon in the world.[…]
The coordinator of the academic campaign in Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, Zaid Al-Shaibi, told Wafa News that the movement issued a condemnation of the participation in the big race and asked its organizers to cancel it because it legitimized an apartheid state that has been abusing the Palestinians for decades.[…]
In addition, Malak Mansur, one of the participants in the procession, said that the group 'Palestine on Bikes' went out today in a procession to convey the message that sports should not be used as a means to beautify the image of the occupation.
She added: 'Participation in the marathon [from Ramallah] is also to make our voice heard in the world and express our opposition to the clear violation and contempt of the situation of Palestine, through the cooperation of European countries that call for peace and justice with a country that practices racism, violates human rights and treats the Palestinians as less than humans.'[…]"
-Lama News -Wafa
"[…]I feel that not enough people understand what's going to happen in these next few days.
Imagine that FIFA decided to have some homes games in Israel in the next World Cup and that players like Messi, Ronaldo, or Muhammad Salach (if only) came here for some games. Imagine that as a part of the Grand Slam tour for World Tennis, the Wimbledon tournament or Roland Garros decided to hold some of the earlier games on tennis fields in Ramat Sharon and they brought Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic here. Imagine that the World Athletics Championships chose to hold the 100 meter race on the track in Hadar Yosef and Usain Bolt came her to run in less than 10 seconds.
Could you imagine?
Great, because that's basically what's happening here this week – just the bike version. Nice to meet you, Giro d'Italia, one of the three most important competitions in the riding world alongside the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. […]
Israel is not a country so interested in competitive cycling […] but it is a fantastic opportunity for us all to be exposed to a new sports world and a great way to spend the weekend 🙂 […]
– Tomer Naor
“Haredi Anger at Giro D'Italia
This morning, the Giro D’Italia international bike race is taking off from Jerusalem, and is planned to continue during the Sabbath in Tel Aviv and Eilat. This morning, Haredi newspapers ‘HaModiah’ and ‘Yated Ne’eman’  are protesting against the race, which will desecrate the Sabbath on a mass scale. Hamodiah writes: 'to our great shame and discontent, if nothing changes, mass Sabbath desecrations are to take place. For the first time, this event will take place with the sponsorship of the government and local municipalities, despite Rabbis’ best efforts to discourage them.
Yated Ne’eman made the event its cover article, and claimed: “A mass desecration of God’s name: […] Sabbath will be defiled on a massive scale, in front of millions of worldwide viewers, subsidized by the state at the cost of tens of millions of dollars… not only is the state willing to sell its spiritual commodities and viciously kick the most important values out the window, and in public, but it also dares take pride in these shameful Sabbath desecrations, the likes of which we’ve never seen.'”
– Kikar HaShabat
0202 Editor's Note:
 Hamodiah and Yated Ne’eman are the leading newspapers for the Ashkenazi Haredi community.
#East_Jerusalem #Ofir_Gendelman #Sabbath #UAE #Bahrain #BDS