'There is no place for anti-Israel discrimination in sports'

Israeli Paralympic swimming champ hopes decision to strip Malaysia of championship will deter other countries from banning Israelis.

Benny Toker ,


Inbal Pezaro is a Paralympic swimmer on the Israel national team, having won nine Paralympic medals.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Pezaro praised the International Paralympic Committee’s decision to bar Malaysia from hosting the World Swimming Championship this summer, after Malaysia announced that it would not allow the Israeli team to participate in the championship.

“There is an unequivocal decision here that sets a precedent for any country that thinks it can prevent Israeli athletes from contending. We must also thank the Israeli committee for making a great effort, the Foreign Ministry and the Paralympic International Committee,” she said.

Pezaro noted the importance of the summer competition, which will determine who will continue on to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

“From the moment we heard that Malaysia was hosting the competition, we understood that there would be problems, since we do not have any [political] relations with Malaysia. We watched intensely and are satisfied that the issue has been resolved.

“We still don’t know where the competition will be [held], but it is important to keep the dates of the competition, since the preparations for the World Championship takes months and most countries have already closed training camps. This is a competition that is of utmost importance for getting tickets to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.”

Pezaro said she is optimistic regarding the Israeli team's chances in next year's Olympics in Tokyo.

“Those who follow the sport are aware of our achievements. We have a strong, high-quality team. We have young and mature swimmers, and some of us have already participated in Olympics. And expectations are high.”