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Chris Froome appears in official Israel video promoting cycling event to support Gaza hostages

The video was posted by official Israel accounts and the Israel Foreign Ministry on social media

Chris Froome has appeared in social media videos posted on X, the platform formerly called Twitter, by Israel's Foreign Ministry and the official State of Israel account. The four-time Tour de France winner, who now rides for the Israel — Premier Tech Pro Cycling Team, led teammates in the clips being used to raise awareness of The Ride to Bring Them Home Now, a solidarity ride this Sunday in support of hostages held in Gaza.

In the 30-second-long video, which has been viewed more than 60,000 times on the official Israel account, Froome tells viewers about the event, described as a mass solidarity ride by his team, which will see cyclists tie a yellow ribbon to their bikes, with organised events planned in Tel Aviv, Barcelona, Paris, London, Melbourne and Los Angeles.

"On Sunday 14th January, people all over the world are going to be riding in support of the hostages who are still in captivity," he told the camera. "Join us in riding, however long or short, with a yellow ribbon tied to the front of your bike for solidarity, and be sure to share your photos with #RideToBringThemHomeNow."

In an interview posted on Israel — Premier Tech's website, Froome added: "As a human being, as a father myself – I cannot stand idly by". The team says Froome was "moved to action by the story of the Calderon family, whose father Ofer and 12-year-old son Erez, both cyclists, were abducted on 7 October. The son, Erez, was released after 51 days in captivity, but his father is still being held by Hamas".

Froome continued: "Their suffering and that of all the other captives deeply affects me, and I call on all cyclists to come out for a solidarity ride that day – just as I will myself – in the hope that this show of support will bring them closer to returning home."

The family of the unreleased hostage Ofer has praised Froome for his support, calling his backing "incredibly important". The main event on Sunday, at the velodrome in Tel Aviv, will see 133 family members of the hostages, as well as cyclists from the Israeli cycling community, riding around the track.

However, Froome's involvement has not been without criticism, some of the reaction to the official video accusing him of "sportswashing" and others questioning the actions of the Israeli government since the October 7 attack. The seven-time Grand Tour winner is yet to share the video on his personal social media accounts, some replies to the Israeli government's post shaming Froome for his involvement.

Solidarity rides calling for a permanent ceasefire and in support of the Palestinian people have also been held in 2024, events in the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Mexico, Italy, India and Australia taking place at the weekend.

In the UK specifically, hundreds of riders attended solidarity rides organised by The Big Ride for Palestine in London, Belfast, Leicester, Reading and other locations.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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40 comments

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theJewishcyclist | 5 months ago
0 likes

I am a religious orthodox Jew.

There is a Biblical commandment, as mentioned in the Talmud and codified in Jewish law, to live in the Land of Israel.

This the only land Jews are indigenous to, and have lived in for ~3000 years.

Therefore, the Israelites/Jews who founded the State of Israel and became known as Israelis, are not 'settlers' or 'colonisers'.

In its decleration of independance, the State of Israel asks the "Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation", and the Israeli Arabs recieve this (although I won't pretend there isn't any racism, this largely holds true, e.g. that Israeli arabs make up ~40% of the Technion, Israel's top university).Therefore, Israel is not 'apartheid'.

The West Bank was part of, and neglected greatly by, Jordan. In 1967, Jordan started a war, and lost it. They, nor anybody else, can complain that it was 'stolen' or is 'occupied territory'. It is controlled by the PA and Israeli army. There is a lot of crime, including a large amount of so called 'honour killings', and the PA provides stipends to tha families of terrorists. Therefore, the Israeli army often has to takes steps, e.g. entering Jenin refugee camp, demolishing terrorist's homes, arrests of rock throwers, etc. 

Antizionism is generally a very thin veil for antisemitism. In my Jewish school, there used to be a TA who spoke two me on two occasions about how the "Evil Zionists" control the entire world. He pretty much quoted Der Stürmer to me, but changed the word "Jew" to "Zionist".

Hamas is known for, and has been documented by Amnesty International, as using the people of Gaza as human shields. The Israeli army estimates 2 civillians die for every terrorist they kill (British & American operations in Iraq and other areas resulted in 4-5:1). The death toll is bad and does not need to be this high. Hamas just needs to lay dow their weapons, return all the hostages, and surrender. If Israel were to surrender the entire State would be made Judenrein by Hamas, just like Gaza. Hamas do not care for their people, as demonstrated by their use of human shields, by their theft of resources / aid to fund terror, and by their destruction of everything the Israelis left behind in 2005, which included large glass greenhouses which could provide food for thousands, and beautiful houses which Hamas torched. However, the withdrawal, effectively creating a small, trial, self-governed Palestinian state went horribly wrong. The Palestinians had the ball in their court regarding a Palestinian state for ~100 years. We are no longer playing ball. A two-state solution is not viable with any current Palestinian governing body.

The reason no Arab state is willing to take in Palestinians is because they are too radicalised. So Israel will have to deradicalise them, much as the west did to Germany after WW2. (Iran and the hostile Arab states use the Palestinians, and wouldn't be able to if they were in Iran.)

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dubwise | 5 months ago
7 likes

A wee bit of history:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deir_Yassin_massacre

So hardly 3 years after WW2 and barely had the zionists been given land that they started attacking Palestinians.

Yeah, Hamas to blame.

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Brauchsel replied to dubwise | 5 months ago
2 likes
dubwise wrote:

Yeah, Hamas to blame.

So if I rape, torture and murder a number of people, I can claim innocence because of something that happened 75 years ago before even my parents were born? 

Would my victims bear some of the blame for my actions, or would that depend on whether or not they were Jewish?

Your wee bit of history omits rather a lot of bits about Arab states attacking Israel, and all the bits where they do fuck-all to help Palestinians. 

It also omits any mention of the thousands of Muslims slaughtered by Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia etc in the region over that period.

I wonder what it is about Israel that makes people like you treat it differently?

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peted76 | 5 months ago
2 likes

Disappointed to see cycling being used/dragged into the latest middle eastern humanitarian shit show... 

I guess that's what we get when we have an Israel sponsored team though.. I wonder if the UAE & Bahrain teams will take the opposing view and promote a different coloured ribbon?.. probably not.

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Left_is_for_Losers | 5 months ago
0 likes

Well done Froomey, you're on the right side of history. 

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Lozcan replied to Left_is_for_Losers | 5 months ago
1 like

Oh look another Zionist shill

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cyclisto | 5 months ago
3 likes

Oh you cunning Road.cc, disks vs calipers and helmets vs no helmets aren't now enough?

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henryb replied to cyclisto | 5 months ago
6 likes

road.cc have decided to tackle a less contentious online debate

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Left_is_for_Losers replied to cyclisto | 5 months ago
1 like
cyclisto wrote:

Oh you cunning Road.cc, disks vs calipers and helmets vs no helmets aren't now enough?

Haha 

You missed Brexit through 

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Car Delenda Est | 5 months ago
9 likes

Supporting the release of hostages: good

Getting involved with the current government of Israel: very very very bad

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henryb | 5 months ago
6 likes

The truncated headline shown on the road.cc front page, "Chris Froome appears in official Israel video promoting cycling event to support Gaza...", would be a potentially much more interesting story

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chrisonabike | 5 months ago
3 likes

Well clearly Froome is cycling into a minefield by supporting people in pain on one side at all saying anything.  To avoid causing further offense and shame to himself he needs to ask the internet where people are at on this.  I'm pretty sure that the sum total of the commentariat will have already sorted the issue of conflict, displacement and atrocities in that region of the Middle East since it's only been a thing for the last year decade fifty years century millenia since around about when records began (as far as we know).

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ErnieC | 5 months ago
1 like

Good Man. 

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Freddy56 | 5 months ago
4 likes

Does he support 20,000 dead chrildren? regardless if they ride disc brakes

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the little onion replied to Freddy56 | 5 months ago
11 likes

Well, it is possible to want the return of hostages AND care about Palestinian lives. Not that the black/white world of internet forums would recognise that

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Secret_squirrel replied to Freddy56 | 5 months ago
0 likes

Its not 20k dead kids.  Its 20k+ dead in total. About 12-13k women and kids from memory.

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Rich_cb replied to Secret_squirrel | 5 months ago
10 likes

That's ok then. I was worried for a minute...

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dubwise | 5 months ago
3 likes

Hey Froome, what about the genocide being committed by Israel? I take it you support it? What about the thousands of Palestinians rotting in Israeli jails and have never been charged with a crime? Froome you disgust me and may you rot in hell when your time comes.

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joules1975 replied to dubwise | 5 months ago
8 likes
dubwise wrote:

Hey Froome, what about the genocide being committed by Israel? I take it you support it? What about the thousands of Palestinians rotting in Israeli jails and have never been charged with a crime? Froome you digust me and may you rot in hell when your time comes.

Your last comment is a bit strong.

What Isreal is doing in Gaza is terrible, as is the imprisonment without charges, but the Hamas attacks (inc. rape and torture) in Israel and their taking of hostages was also terrible.

Supporting the return of the Israeli hostages is not necessarily the issue, but the one sided way it is being presented, with no mention of impact of the war on palastinians and others is a problem.

Quite what a load of people riding bikes with ribbons attached will do is also open for debate. I can't see how it's anything more than a PR/sport washing excersise that Froome has perhaps naively agreed or been contractually obliged to be involved with.

 

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Dnnnnnn replied to joules1975 | 5 months ago
0 likes

Good comment, joules1975.

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neilmck replied to joules1975 | 5 months ago
8 likes

What about the Palestinians who over the last 50 years have been arrested under martial law and are never charged with a crime? Just because Israel calls them prisoners are they not also hostages? Will Froome be asking for their release when he is cycling?

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open_roads replied to dubwise | 5 months ago
3 likes

There's no "genocide" in Gaza.

Genocide has a very specific legal definition and using it to describe events that are clearly not genocidal is an insult to the millions of people who were murdered through mass genocide in the Second World War.

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ErnieC replied to open_roads | 5 months ago
4 likes
open_roads wrote:

There's no "genocide" in Gaza.

Genocide has a very specific legal definition and using it to describe events that are clearly not genocidal is an insult to the millions of people who were murdered through mass genocide in the Second World War.

Exactly. The hamas desire for the total destruction of the state of Israel is closer to genocide  

 

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Crazyhorse replied to ErnieC | 5 months ago
7 likes

Israel is committed to the destruction of Palestine. You only have to look at the map of Israel/Palestine since 1948 to see that. It is literally wiping Palestine off the face of the map. Cycling should have no part in legitimising the destruction of Palestine.  

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ErnieC replied to Crazyhorse | 5 months ago
1 like
Crazyhorse wrote:

Israel is committed to the destruction of Palestine. You only have to look at the map of Israel/Palestine since 1948 to see that. It is literally wiping Palestine off the face of the map. Cycling should have no part in legitimising the destruction of Palestine.  

What about the hamas charter that desires the complete destruction of Israel as an essential condition for the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of a theocratic state based on Islamic law (Sharia). That is genocide – acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national ethnical, racial or religious group – the stated aim of hamas.  The murder, torture rape and mutilation  were in pursuit of a genocidal agenda. Hamas exultantly celebrated the murder of every victim, filming and circulating the atrocities.  No state would stay passive in the face of such barbaric attack and a declared intent to repeat them. UK armed forces and police did not sit on the side-lines and do nothing during the IRA bombing campaign did they?

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Paul J replied to ErnieC | 5 months ago
2 likes
ErnieC wrote:
Crazyhorse wrote:

Israel is committed to the destruction of Palestine. You only have to look at the map of Israel/Palestine since 1948 to see that. It is literally wiping Palestine off the face of the map. Cycling should have no part in legitimising the destruction of Palestine.  

What about the hamas charter that desires the complete destruction of Israel as an essential condition for the liberation of Palestine

That is an untruth. Hamas - since 2017 - have accepted the Arab League call (and widely backed by many nations across the world) for a two-state solution, based on 1967 borders.

Likud, the ruling party of Israel for most of the past 40 years, on the other hand do *not* accept the existence of a Palestine state.

As always, when Israelis accuse others of something, they are projecting their own vices in order to deflect from their own actions and positions. It is the Israeli state and its body politic who wish to eradicate any possibility of a Palestinian state and - ideally - all Palestinians. They are not shy about saying this. Have a look at any map of Israel produced by the state - it shows Israel as being all of the land "From the River to the Sea".

The phrase "From the River to Sea" is one that Likud has being using since... their inception in the 1970s, long before the existence of Hamas.

The truth is the Israeli state is founded on the theft - through murderous pogroms and terrorism - of land, and the continued oppression of the former land owners and their immediate descendents.

The European Jews (german, polish, Russian) who did this have little genetic connection to the land. The people who are most closely related to the ancient Israelite tribes are in fact the Christians, Samaratins, Jews and Muslims who were (or their great grandparents) living in the Levant /before/ the Israeli state.

The entire Israeli state exists on a foundation of lies and murder.

One day, it will have to make peace.

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Brauchsel replied to Paul J | 5 months ago
1 like
Paul J wrote:

The European Jews (german, polish, Russian) who did this have little genetic connection to the land.

I mean, that's just authentic 1930s-style anti-semitism. "European Jews" with "little genetic connection to the land"? Fucking hell. 

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Paul J replied to Brauchsel | 5 months ago
0 likes
Brauchsel wrote:
Paul J wrote:

The European Jews (german, polish, Russian) who did this have little genetic connection to the land.

I mean, that's just authentic 1930s-style anti-semitism. "European Jews" with "little genetic connection to the land"? Fucking hell. 

That is not anti-semitism. It is the scientific truth, according to research where researchers have compared the genetic distances between DNA samples from old remains from Palestine and the Levant from Iron Age times, to modern populations.

Samaritans, Levantine Christians, Levantine Arabs and Levantine Jews (i.e., Jews with ancestry in the Levant from immediately prior to the modern immigration of European Jewry from the 1900s) have a very low genetic distance to Iron Age remains DNA.

Those whose ancestry is all or predominantly from the modern European immigrant population have a much, much higher genetic distance.

I guess DNA analysis is anti-semetic now too.

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ErnieC replied to Crazyhorse | 5 months ago
1 like

And the stated aim of hamas is the complete destruction of Israel as an essential condition for the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of a theocratic state based on Islamic law (Sharia).  Cycling should have no part in legitimising the destruction of Israel or any place in politics.

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Secret_squirrel replied to ErnieC | 5 months ago
2 likes
ErnieC wrote:

Exactly. The hamas desire for the total destruction of the state of Israel is closer to genocide  

Errm no.

Wishing a nation dead is nothing like actual genocide, genocide requires actually killing a big chunk of a people not just wishing for it.

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