Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"If they're going to bar Israelis, why not just rename it the `Dubai Apartheid Tournament'?"


Now, supposedly, the tournament is in limbo--well, at least the men's tournament. The women's tournament seems to be going on as scheduled. I guess it is OK for the women to be part of such an anti-Semetic tournament, but not the men, right?

This whole thing is so disgusting. I am sitting here wondering why the women would agree to play in the tournament at all. It seems to me that they should all say, "If Peer doesn't play, we don't play." But, I guess I live in a dreamworld where human beings actually CARE about the rights of others.

I know that this is not the case. Human beings care about the rights of others, as long as those human beings are not Jews.

Nothing changes. The world is going right back to where it was 100 years ago and no one cares. They have forgotten that we are not scapegoats--we are the canaries in the coal-mine.

What happens to us, happens to you too.

Wake up.

Dubai tournament in doubt over Peer row,7340,L-3673492,00.html

Future of Dubai Tennis Championships 'very much in doubt' as pressure mounts on sport officials to take action after Israeli player denied entry to UAE. Andy Ram yet to receive word on his visa status

Published: 02.18.09, 01:29 / Israel Culture

The future of the Dubai Championships was "very much in doubt" on Tuesday as pressure mounted for the sport's governing bodies to take action after Israel's Shahar Peer was barred from competing.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) denied Peer an entry visa and the world number 45 was unable to participate in one of the most lucrative tournaments on the WTA Tour.

The $2 million event had nine of the world's top 10 women in the field and from next Monday Dubai will host the men's tournament but the political row is expected to rumble on because Israeli doubles specialist Andy Ram is in the field.

WTA chief Larry Scott has said the Dubai tournament could be scratched from next year's calendar if UAE officials persist with their stance of barring Israeli competitors.

"The future of this tournament is very much in doubt," Scott told Reuters. "We feel a great sense of upset and outrage over what has happened. Our goal is to bring sports above politics and resolving this for the future.

"There certainly will be (sanctions) imposed on the tournament but we'll make those decisions following this year's tournament. They were awarded this tournament with a very clear understanding and their agreement that if an Israeli ever wanted to play, they would be allowed to play. But (the agreement) had never been tested until now.

"Whatever we decide here will send a very clear signal."

This is the first major political row to hit the sport since global sanctions were placed on South Africa in the late1970s for its apartheid regime. But unlike apartheid South Africa, Israel is not the subject of international sporting sanctions and so those who govern the sport cannot allow individual countries to lay down the rules about who can and cannot compete at their tournaments.

'WTA must take responsibility'
The refusal to issue a visa to Peer violates WTA Tour rules, which state that any player should be able to compete where she wishes if she has the required ranking.

While the ATP Tour said it would review the status of the men's event once Ram was notified about his application, the player said action should be taken sooner rather than later.

The people in charge of the tour - the WTA and the ATP - have to take responsibility," Ram said while competing in a tournament in Marseille.

"It's one of the biggest tournaments on the calendar, so obviously they have to find a way to let the Israelis play there. I don't know what should be done... Maybe cancelling the tournament or sanction them with money or any other thing."

Like most Arab nations, the UAE has no diplomatic ties with Israel and Israeli citizens are usually denied entry.

Tournament officials defended their stance, saying local fans would have boycotted the event if an Israeli was allowed to compete and that Peer's safety could also have been compromised.

But Jewish human rights organization the Simon Wiesenthal Center urged Barclays Bank to drop its sponsorship from the men's event.

"If they're going to bar Israelis, why not just rename it the `Dubai Apartheid Tournament'?" said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Wiesenthal Center.

"What Dubai is doing is caving in to extremists who want to harm the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. If Dubai cannot handle appropriate security arrangements, then the tournament should be cancelled."

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