Fresh from denying Israeli tennis player, Shachar Pe'er, a visa to compete in a World Tennis Federation tournament , Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, is once again displaying its bigotry to the whole world.
Dubai, which is hosting the International Chamber of Commerce's global banking financial crisis conference, refused to grant a visa to Israeli, Sarah Younger, who is chair of the ICC's banking committee. In Israel she is a manager of Israel's Bank Le'umi's international trade section. Offering the weak excuse that Ms. Younger's documents were not properly filled out, Dubai did finally issue an entry permit--not quite a visa. An equal opportunity bigot, Dubai denied visas to fifty of the 300 representatives who planned to attend the conference.
Dubai has a history of denying visas to Israeli and representatives of other countries attending international conferences it hosts. In addition to the tennis playing Ms. Pe'er, Dubai refused to give visas to Israelis planning on attending the World Congress of International Freight Forwarders a little over a year ago..
The WTA heavily fined and imposed other punishments on Dubai for its breach of contract regarding its barring of Pe'er. The ICC will weakly follow suit, recommending not to hold future conferences in countries that bar, or impose difficulties, on members entering a country for official ICC business.
Dubai, along with most of the world, is suffering from the international financial crisis. When times were good it began construction on the tallest building in the world, constructed lavish, luxurious resorts on artificial islands to increase tourism and spent, spent, spent, anticipating a return on investment.
While there are always people and organizations that are indifferent to--or actually agree with--bigotry, many don't. If Dubai practices its bigotry and prohibits certain people entry for international conferences, in violation of signed contracts, this will undoubtedly negatively affect its tourism industry. It will be interesting to see how Dubai resolves this--in favor of international openness and the market or retain its racism.
It will also be interesting to see how other organizations and countries respond to Dubai's bigotry as well as hate being spewed by other countries.