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Using the Olympics to Champion the "Palestinian" Cause

Athletic competition or political forum?
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 2/13/2012, 4:58 PM

Four Arabs from Palestinian Authority enclaves are planning on competing in the upcoming London Olympics, scheduled to take place this summer.

The four participants include Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra, Cairo swimmer Ahmed Jabreel and two West Bank women, swimmer Sabeen Kharyoon from Bethlehem and runner Worood Maslaha from Nablus, Reuters reported

Hani al-Halabi who will head the delegation, said, "We want to embody the Palestinian issue by including participants from the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Diaspora. Each of us represents a part of our home," Reuters reported.  

"It's going to be a beautiful feeling to represent Palestine ... like all the other athletes, I dream of winning a medal ... I hope to carry the flag and tell the world that regardless of all the difficulties, we exist," he told Reuters.

The above statement seems to indicate a clear, decisive political ideology. The world has already bore witness to the tragedy that may ensue when athletic competitions are politicized, such as occurred during the Munich massacre of 1972, in with members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and murdered by the Palestinian terrorist organization, Black September.

It man be argued that this Arab delegation, wishing to champion the “Palestine” cause has no right to pursue their national liberation objectives in this type of international athletic forum, thereby politicizing the very nature of the Olympic Games.