Friday, April 26, 2013

  • Friday, April 26, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Middle East Monitor:
The Tunisian public was surprised to hear the news that its national Taekwondo team would participate in a match against the Israeli national team, which is considered a form of normalisation with Israel. This participation has caused the issue of normalisation with Israel to resurface in Tunisia.

Once the news of the match spread, the Tunisian Ministry of Youth and Sports immediately expressed its condemnation of the national Tunisian Taekwondo team's participation in the international championship with Israel and described the participation as "a mockery."

In a statement aired by the official Tunisian radio station on Sunday, the Tunisian ministry said that it opened an immediate investigation of the "participation of members of the national Taekwondo team in an international championship in Belgium who are competing against Israel without prior discussion with the Supervising Authority."

It also explained in its statement that this investigation "aims to find out reasons for this participation" described as a "mockery."

The Tunisian Taekwondo Federation called for "immediate discontinuation of the activities of those causing this mockery - including the technical and administrative members accompanying the Tunisian delegation - until the investigation is over and accountability is established."

The Tunisian Taekwondo team has participated in the Belgian Open with Israel in the past, where some members of the Tunisian team competed against Israelis, which angered former coach of the Tunisian national Taekwondo team, Murad Al-Souli, who spoke out against what he considered "normalisation with Israel."

Al-Souli expressed his anger over this participation, pointing out that the Tunisian team has never participated in any match with Israel. He held the Tunisian Taekwondo Federation responsible for this, as well as the head of the Tunisian delegation participating in this championship.

In addition to this, activists on social media networks launched a campaign against the temporary Tunisian government, accusing it of normalisation with Israel. This explains the statement mentioned earlier by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, an effort to tone down this anger.
One coach, trying to avoid being lynched upon his return, claimed that one of the athletes didn't know he was competing against an Israeli.

UPDATE: Zvi adds:

It is time for global sporting federations to stop treating this disgusting behavior as normal behavior and to start censuring and expelling member organizations that refuse to participate in international competition against other countries.

The US and the USSR had no problem with competing against each other in sports for decades, even when they were aiming massive arsenals of nuclear weapons against each other and attempting to destroy each other through overt and covert means.

The behavior of the Arab sporting federations with regard to Israel is disgusting, the kind of behavior in which poor losers and small-minded bigots engage.

Israel, on the other hand, is happy to participate in sporting events anywhere and to compete against other countries - even ones that seek to destroy it - because international sporting and culture are supposed to be above politics in our global athletics system. Israel's stance is the stance that the nations of the world have embraced - all but a few regimes run by small-minded bigots.

Israel embodies the ideal of all sporting federations. Her enemies embody the antithesis of these ideals. This should be highlighted EVERY time one of these stories arises.

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