State to intervene in anti-Israel sports boycotts

PM orders National Security Council to directly intervene in discrimination against Israelis at global events, following judo fiasco.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Yarden Garbi
Yarden Garbi
Reuters

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instructed the cabinet secretary and chairman of the National Security Council to intervene in the issue of sports boycotts against Israel on Sunday morning, following an urgent request from Culture and Sports Miri Regev over an incident at a global judo competition over the weekend. 

Israeli judaokas Yarden Gerbi and Sagi Muki took home two bronze medals on Saturday night in the Grand Prix, but were forced to appear under the World Judo Federation flag - and not under the Israeli flag - due to the discrimination of the tournament's hosts. The flag was likewise forbidden from their uniforms, under "security" excuses. 

The exclusive tournament will award the two Israelis critical points for the coming 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

In parallel to Netanyahu's measures, Regev will hold an emergency meeting at her office this week with the heads of all sports associations in Israel - and is expected to fly for an urgent meeting with the chairman of the Olympic Committee in Zurich in order to find a solution to the issue and prevent such incidents from happening again in the future.

Sports boycotts against Israel have become common practice - but sports organizations have increasingly fought the phenomenon, with great gains in the sport world over the past year alone. 

For six years, for example, Israelis had been banned from the Grand Prix tournament at all; Israel's very presence has been seen as an improvement. And in a game-changing step Thursday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) revoked the Olympic qualifying status of a shooting championship in Kuwait, after the country refused to grant a visa to an Israeli official for the event.




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