Sunday, 15 February 2009
Israeli player Shahar Peer has been refused a visa to take part in the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Peer was scheduled to play 15th seed Anna Chakvetadze of Russia in the $2m event on Monday.
But the WTA Tour said Peer was denied entry into the United Arab Emirates for the tournament, which features all the world's top-10 ranked women's players.
UAE officials have not given a reason for the move, but the country does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
Read the rest of the BBC article here.
SIDE NOTE: I think it high time that more countries join the UAE in refusing visas to Israeli sport figures. The same applies to Israeli academics and musicians, etc.
Unlike the silence from the UAE, countries who support the Palestinean cause must take a public stand and declare a total boycott of all things Israeli.
Anti-apartheid sanctions did not allow for South African teams to play in a host of countries. There was also a comprehensive academic and cultural boycott against South Africa.
Some may remember that musicians were blacklisted for appearing in South Africa. This did not stop sell-out asses like Tina Turner, Eartha Kitt, Ray Charles, Shirley Bassey, The Ojays, George Benson, among other artists of color, from playing in South Africa.
Other sanction busting artists included Elton John, Rod Stewart, and Richard Clayderman. Many sports figures also came to play rugby, tennis, cricket, and soccer despite the sanctions.
Those who busted sanctions came because they were offered lucrative deals, they literally sold out.
In the article above a few of the female top ten players offer their regret and one in particular, France's Amelie Mauresmo, wishes that sports and politics (religion too) be separated.
Israel, like apartheid South Africa, is a pariah nation-state that must be made to suffer the consequences of its inhumane acts in Gaza and elsewhere.
Boycotts and sanctions have consequences for individuals too, just ask South Africans of color who endured South Africa's forced isolation even though they were decidedly not white.
I remember that my apartheid South African passport was not welcome in Mexico, Jamaica, among other countries.
I used to fly back to Joburg from New York via Iceland and then Brussels because anti-apartheid legislation in the US prohibited direct flights between the US and South Africa.
I understood why and supported those who pressed South Africa to become more humane.
Israel should suffer the same treatment ... it is high time.