Which Israeli will Europe and Arabs Target Next?
The fact remains that a Dutch soccer player was excluded from a training camp on the sole basis that he is Jew with an Israeli passport.
Not only is the Dutch Foreign Ministry's advice to "keep sports and politics separated as much as possible" bankrupt of any enforceable meaning; it conflicts with the Dutch Constitution, which states: "Discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex or any other grounds whatsoever shall not be permitted."
The hypocritical -- and, bluntly, racist -- restrictions of these countries become even more conspicuous when contrasted to the double-standards they practice when events happen to suit some other interest. When doing business or cooperating on security with Israel or Israelis, these same EU and UAE rules do not apply.
When added to the new calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions, it seems appropriate to ask, is it not actually many Europeans, Arabs and Muslims who are the new Nazis?
While the rest of the Dutch Arnhem-based soccer club, Vitesse, attended a training camp in Abu Dhabi, the team left one of its Israeli-born defenders at home. Dan Mori, who was transferred from Tel Aviv's Bnei Yehuda club in 2012, was not allowed to enter Abu Dhabi -- so the club was told the day before departure -- because he holds an Israeli passport.
Three things stand out: First, it appears that The Royal Netherlands Football Association [RNFA] initially wanted nothing to do with the incident and submitted to Abu Dhabi's demand without a peep. This despite the fact that the RNFA, which is a member of FIFA and UEFA, demands strict compliance with 'anti racism' guidelines by Dutch soccer clubs if they wish to maintain their RNFA licenses. Second, the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry advised Vitesse "to keep sports and politics separated as much as possible." Third, the Gulf states' tendency to ban athletes from Israel is totally inconsistent with their relationship to Israel when it comes to security or business.
Dan Mori, the player for Holland's Vitesse soccer team who was excluded from a training camp in Abu Dhabi because he is Israeli. At right, Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar. (Images source: Wikimedia Commons)
To further illustrate the RNFA's non-compliance with both FIFA and UEFA's anti-racism guidelines: After a Dutch amateur linesman was kicked to death by three teenage Dutch-Moroccan amateur soccer players last year, if you think the RNFA's anger would be directed at the murderers, you would be wrong. Instead, in the wake of the killing, Hans van der Liet, former chairman of the Amsterdam Committee of Referees and a sympathizer with Geert Wilders's Freedom Party, was formally asked to stop expressing his right to free speech on social media or else face a discharge. Van der Liet had written Facebook posts in which he playfully commented that, statistically, Dutch Moroccans are prone to delinquency and violence, a remark which unfortunately might convey a painful truth; half of all young Dutch-Moroccans have been arrested by police at least once, and one third of that group has been arrested more than five times.
While the leadership of the RNFA vilified Van der Liet as a racist – an accusation both the author and Van der Liet's former partners refuted – they were nonetheless reluctant to act when one of its members, Mori, was refused entry to a country because of his Jewish Israeli background. Eventually the RNFA did issue a report to FIFA on the matter, but only after the astonishment caused by RNFA's initial refusal to abide by its own "anti racism" guidelines became public. The fact remains that a Dutch soccer player was excluded from a training camp on the sole basis that he is Jew with an Israeli passport: so much for the RNFA's otherwise neatly abided by "anti-racism" guidelines.
Further, not only is the Dutch Foreign Ministry's advice "to keep sports and politics separated as much as possible," bankrupt -- in the mushiness of such language -- of any enforceable meaning; it is, above all, not in line with the Dutch Constitution, the first article of which states, "All persons in the Netherlands shall be treated equally in equal circumstances. Discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex or on any other grounds whatsoever shall not be permitted."
The Ministry, however, in another instance of what clearly seems to be an escalating European anti-Jewish racism, advised the Dutch club not to make a fuss. The club's cravenness in complying -- although in line with the Dutch Foreign Ministry's advice -- only serves to expose people who regard themselves as highly moral but who in fact are not. And when added to the increased calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions [BDS], it seems appropriate to ask, is it not actually many Europeans, Arabs and Muslims who are the new Nazis?
Maybe the Dutch Foreign Ministry and RNFA could learn from the Davis Cup, which suspended Tunisia after Tunisian tennis player Malek Jaziri was ordered not to compete against an Israeli opponent; as well as from the main sponsor of the English soccer club, West Bromwich Albion, property website Zoopla, which withdrew its sponsorship because it no longer wanted to be associated with player Nicolas Anelka's anti-Semitic "quenelle" salute.
Moreover, what racist precedents are these Europeans setting? As recently as last December, the Israeli youth chess team, playing in Abu Dhabi, was forced to play under the flag of the World Chess Federation instead of under its Israeli flag; and one day after that, the Israeli flag was completely removed from the tournament's website.
Last October, when swimmer Amit Ivry won the silver medal at the women's 100 meter individual medley in Qatar, the Israeli flag was removed from the broadcast.
A few years ago, Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer was also not allowed to enter Qatar to compete in the Qatar Women's Open.
All clubs, hosts and sponsors of these tournaments need to be held accountable, sued and sanctioned. It is long overdue that rules be clearly established -- and enforced. If all members of a team are not welcome, another location can be found; if such a rule presents a problem, any country may graciously be excused from hosting international events.
The hypocritical -- and, bluntly, racist -- restrictions of these countries become even more conspicuous when contrasted to the double standards they practice when events happen to suit some other interest. When doing business or cooperating on security with Israel or Israelis, these same Qatari and UAE rules do not apply.
According to an Israeli Finance Ministry paper, Israel opened a diplomatic mission in one of the Gulf states, rumored to be the UAE, to increase Israeli effectiveness in combating the Iranian regime -– a nemesis of Israel as well as of the Sunni Gulf states. Israel was also, despite a Kuwaiti boycott, allowed to attend a recent renewable energy conference in the UAE.
Bilateral Qatari-Israeli relations date back to 1996, when a visit by then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres resulted in the opening of the first Israeli Trade Office in Doha, Qatar. Despite the freeze in the Arab-Israeli "peace process," Qatar, in a gesture that infuriated Saudi Arabia, invited Israel to the 1997 MENA economic conference it hosted there. Even after Saudi Arabia and Iran exerted enormous pressure that forced the official closure of the Israeli office in Qatar in 2000, secret meetings continued to take place, and co-operation resumed uninterrupted.
During the Israeli 2008 military operation "Cast Lead," however, Qatari-Israeli relations took a turn for the worse; Qatar severed ties with Israel, shut down the Israeli trade office altogether and expelled all Israeli representatives. After the media attention on "Cast Lead" had settled down, Qatar re-approached Israel in 2010; but this time the Qatari engagement was turned down by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Qatar's conditions for the deal had been that Israel publicly recognize and express its appreciation for Qatar's role and prominent standing in the Middle East, and that Israel grant Qatar permission to ship large quantities of cement and construction materials to the Gaza Strip. In recent years, these materials were not used to build housing for the citizens of the Gaza Strip; instead they were used to construct vast, well-lit and ventilated underground tunnels through which to kidnap Israelis or to smuggle weaponry from Egypt into the Gaza Strip, as well as other contraband.
It appears, nevertheless, that the Gulf States, when not humiliating and ostracizing Israeli athletes and others, continue to obscure their relations with a free, open and democratic state, and to conduct meetings in secret.
Even sadder is that European governments, sports clubs and other organizations remain so eagerly complicit in the racism that so many pretend to deplore.
Reader comments on this item
|Replies to other comments. [193 words]||Lorraine Thornecroft||Feb 24, 2014 05:07|
|Power struggle [188 words]||Robert Davis||Feb 22, 2014 04:49|
|Gutless wonders [82 words]||Bart Benschop||Feb 20, 2014 21:54|
|Bravo to the Dutch Foreign Ministry [113 words]||Julius O'Malley||Feb 20, 2014 18:57|
|FIFA and racism [246 words]||Israel L. M. Gonzalez||Feb 20, 2014 16:03|
|A pox on both their houses - Europe and the Gulf States [90 words]||A.T. Halmay||Feb 20, 2014 09:08|
|Excusion of Jews not racist [41 words]||FatherJon||Feb 20, 2014 06:04|
Comment on this item
by Soeren Kern
"My son and I love life with the beheaders." — British jihadist Sally Jones.
Mujahidah Bint Usama published pictures of herself on Twitter holding a severed head while wearing a white doctor's jacket; alongside it, the message: "Dream job, a terrorist doc."
British female jihadists are now in charge of guarding as many as 3,000 non-Muslim Iraqi women and girls held captive as sex slaves.
"The British women are some of the most zealous in imposing the IS laws in the region. I believe that's why at least four of them have been chosen to join the women police force." — British terrorism analyst Melanie Smith.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
"Armed robbery in broad daylight." — Palestinians, after Hamas "seized" $750,000 from Gaza bank.
Fatah accused Hamas of "squandering" $700 million of financial aid earmarked for the Palestinian victims of war. Fatah wants to ensure that the millions of dollars intended for the Gaza Strip will pass through its hands and not end up in Hamas's bank accounts. Relying on Fatah in this regard is like asking a cat to guard the milk.
The head of the Palestinian Authority's Anti-Corruption Commission revealed that his group has retrieved $70 million of public funds fund embezzled by Palestinian officials. Arab and Western donors need to make sure that their money does not end up (once again) in the wrong hands. Without a proper mechanism of accountability and transparency, hundreds of millions of dollars are likely to find their way into the bank accounts of both Hamas and Fatah leaders.
by Mudar Zahran
"If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you." — A., a Fatah member in Gaza.
"Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar." — T., former Hamas Ministry officer.
"They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did." — D., Gazan journalist.
"Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield." — K., graduate student
"The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas." — E., first-aid volunteer.
"We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation… We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money. We miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here." — S., graduate of an American university, former Hamas sympathizer.
by Ben Cohen
Now, with the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate having captured key oil wells in the Middle East this year, foreign oil has become an even more lethal financial weapon-of-choice for those seeking to destroy democracy and further escalate the War on Terror.
That President Barack Obama failed even to mention oil as a critical factor in the war against IS during his speech to the nation on September 10, is an omission both revealing and dangerous in terms of how his administration wants to depict the stakes involved in this latest confrontation with the jihadis.
by Lawrence A. Franklin
One Pakistani recruiter of child suicide bombers describes these children as "tools provided by God."
Another Muslim cleric in a madrassa [Islamic boys' school] describes child suicide bombers as "a gift from Allah that we have an unlimited number willing to be sacrificed to teach Americans a lesson."
Using children as suicide bombers will stop when... they stop "condoning the killing of innocents."