UK comedian, performing in Tel Aviv, banned from Palestine Marathon
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UK comedian, performing in Tel Aviv, banned from Palestine Marathon

Organizers say Eddie Izzard not welcome at race Friday unless he cancels Thursday show in Israel

British comedian and Labour Party activist Eddie Izzard. (CC, BY, : Nickjwebb at English Wikipedia)
British comedian and Labour Party activist Eddie Izzard. (CC, BY, : Nickjwebb at English Wikipedia)

British comedian Eddie Izzard on Thursday was banned from running in the Palestine Marathon on Friday, after he refused to cancel a show in Israel.

Izzard, known for his rambling monologues and cross-dressing, is due to perform in Tel Aviv on Thursday night.

Palestine Marathon organizers said the comedian, who ran 27 marathons in 27 days for charity in 2016, was not welcome unless he cancelled the gig.

“British comedian Eddie Izzard cannot run for freedom this Friday if he entertains in Tel Aviv on Thursday,” the race’s official Twitter site said.

“We refuse to be used as a fig leaf to cover up Izzard’s whitewashing of Israel’s occupation and apartheid.”

https://twitter.com/PalMarathon/status/847428464579723265

https://twitter.com/PalMarathon/status/847428507454070784

The left-wing comedian tweeted earlier on Thursday to say he was looking forward to the marathon after the gig.

https://twitter.com/eddieizzard/status/847373081618243586

A prominent supporter of the British Labour Party, Izzard campaigned vocally to stay in the European Union and often speaks at rallies.

Around 5,500 people are due to run the marathon Friday, organizers said. Its aim is to highlight Israel’s presence the West Bank, with the Jewish state’s security barrier cutting through the territory in some areas.

Palestinians often call for a boycott of Israel until the establishment of a Palestinian state. Many subscribe to the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, as do international activists, academics students and officials.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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