Israeli athletes in Rio target of Muslim taunts and insults
The International Olympic Committee has issued a reprimand to the Lebanese delegation for their treatment of Israeli athletes who were attempting to board a bus in the Olympic village bound for the opening cerermonies. A Lebanese coach blocked the entrance to the bus, forcing the Israeli athletes to ride in a "special vehicle."
The incident was one of many insults by Muslim atheletes directed against the 47-member Israeli delegation.
“The bus driver opened the door, but this time the head of the Lebanese delegation blocked the aisle and entrance,” Mr. Gal said on Facebook. “The organizers wanted to avoid an international and physical incident and sent us away to a different bus.”
He said he was “enraged and shocked by this event.”
“How is it possible that they let something like this happen and on the opening night of the Olympic Games?” he said.
Miri Regev, Israeli minister of culture and sports, blasted the Lebanese incident as “anti-Semitism, pure and simple, and the worst kind of racism.”
The Lebanese delegation head, Saleem al-Haj Nacoula, who was reportedly hailed in Lebanon as a hero, told Arabic media that he was “surprised to see the Israeli delegation approaching and trying to get on.”
“I told the bus driver to close the door, but a trainer who was with the Israelis prevented him from doing so,” he said, as reported by The Times of Israel. “I had to physically stand at the door and block him and the rest of the delegation from boarding, knowing that some were trying to force their way through and were looking for trouble.”
Days later, Joud Fahmy of Saudi Arabia forfeited a first-round judo match Sunday in what the Israeli press described as a tactic to avoid facing Israel’s Gili Cohen in the second round.
The Saudi team disputed the charge, insisting on Twitter that Ms. Fahmy had sustained injuries to her arms and legs during training, although episodes of Arab and Muslim athletes refusing to compete against Israelis are relatively common in international sports.
In June, Syrian boxer Ala Ghasoun refused to participate in an Olympic qualifying match against an Israeli, saying that to do so “would mean that I, as an athlete, and Syria, as a state, recognize the state of Israel.”
“I quit the competition because my rival was Israeli, and I cannot shake his hand or compete against him while he represents a Zionist regime that kills the Syrian people,” Mr. Ghasoun said in Arab media, according to Jerusalem’s i24 News.
There is nothing else that exposes the "Olympic Spirit" as a fraud more than the way Muslims treat Israeli athletes. They don't even have to be competing against them. The hatred is palpable and destroys any notion that political disagreements are set aside for the games.
The IOC are hypocrites for allowing this to happen every four years. Muslim athletes who refuse to compete against Israelis simply because of politics or religion should be banned. Muslim countries that refuse to allow their athletes to compete against Israelis should also be banned. If the Olympics really stand for anything, the ostracization of Israel must cease.
But it won't happen because it would destroy the myth that the games are an oasis of brotherhood and comity.