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Manchester City snubs BDS boycott with Israeli tech deal Open in fullscreen

Taufiq Wan

Manchester City snubs BDS boycott with Israeli tech deal

Manchester City was taken over by UAE Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour in 2008 [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 February, 2016

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The Arab-owned English football club will not be participating in Israeli Apartheid week, as a Tel Aviv-based firm becomes its "official website design and hosting partner".


The Arab owners of Premier League football club Manchester City have revealed that an Israeli company will design its new website, in what activists have called a snub of the international movement calling for a boycott of Israel.

The partnership between the club, which was taken over by UAE Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour in 2008, and Tel Aviv-based Wix.com came on February 16, when it was announced the tech firm would become the club's official website design and hosting partner.

The deal will also give Wix exposure through advertising around the Etihad Stadium and the ground's pitch-side LED hoardings during league and cup games, allowing them access to some of the Premier League's 4.7 billion-strong TV audience.

According to the Jewish Chronicle, Wix.com's chief marketing officer, Omar Shai, said of the deal: "I didn’t think about religion. It didn't cross my mind. The reason we joined forces was that both companies want to be number one in the world. It was about two great companies doing great stuff together. It shows everyone that we can make deals between our peoples."

The announcement of the partnership came just days before the annual launch of Israeli Apartheid Week by the international Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

This year's Israel Apartheid week caught the world's attention after several actions by pro-Palestinian activists sparked controversy. Earlier this week, posters on London's Underground tube network calling for a boycott of Israel led to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu personally calling for them to be removed.

This came shortly before Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came out to defend Israel and condemn the BDS movement.

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