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October 22, 2013 0

Flag At Swim Competition In Qatar Triggers Hatred Toward Israel

qatar-israeli-flag-swim-fina

Screen­shot of Twit­ter post denounc­ing dis­play of Israeli flag at the FINA Swim­ming World Cup in Qatar.

Pho­tos of an Israeli flag at the FINA Swim­ming World Cup in Doha, Qatar, trig­gered a wave of angry reac­tions on Twit­ter, includ­ing calls for future sports boy­cotts against Israel.

While it is notable that Israeli swim­mers par­tic­i­pated in the Octo­ber 20–21 com­pe­ti­tion — includ­ing Amit Ivry, win­ner of a sil­ver medal - hun­dreds of Twit­ter users, includ­ing Qatari jour­nal­ists, took to Twit­ter to express shock at their government’s deci­sion to allow the Israeli flag to fly out­side the Hamad Aquatic Cen­ter along with flags rep­re­sent­ing var­i­ous other coun­tries com­pet­ing in the event.

Many of the Tweets con­demned the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Israeli team and demanded the removal of the flag form out­side the Aquatic Cen­ter. Oth­ers Tweets protested what they described as the “nor­mal­iz­ing of rela­tions with the Zion­ist Entity.” Sev­eral users posted an image of a poster that reads, “Israel not-welcomed in Qatar.”

Reports from the region indi­cate that the Israeli flag was taken down before the end of the event in response to the reac­tion on Twit­ter. A graphic of the Israeli flag was also dis­torted on the tele­vi­sion broad­cast of the event when an Israeli swim­mer medaled.

One Twit­ter user wrote, “Boy­cott should become uni­ver­sal; one of the results should be to ban the Zion­ist Entity from play­ing in the World Cup with an offi­cial FIFA res­o­lu­tion.” The FIFA World Cup is sched­uled to be played in Qatar in 2022.

This inci­dent raises con­cerns over Qatar’s abil­ity to host inter­na­tional sport­ing events with­out suc­cumb­ing to pres­sure from those who seek to politi­cize sports.

As more Arab coun­tries host inter­na­tional sport­ing events, some Israeli ath­letes have encoun­tered chal­lenges.  Most inter­na­tional sport­ing fed­er­a­tions man­date that host coun­tries allow all qual­i­fy­ing ath­letes to com­pete. How­ever, in 2009, the United Arab Emi­rates refused to issue a visa to Israeli ten­nis star Sha­har Peer to enable her to com­pete in the Dubai Ten­nis Cham­pi­onship, a stop on the Women Ten­nis Asso­ci­a­tion (WTA) tour. The bar­ring of Peer vio­lated the guide­lines of the WTA (which were sub­se­quently tight­ened fur­ther) and the UAE was forced to pay a fine.

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May 2, 2013 2

Qaradawi On Doha Interfaith Conference: Keep Jews Out!

Rad­i­cal Mus­lim Broth­er­hood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi derided the 10th annual Doha inter­faith con­fer­ence held in Qatar last week for includ­ing Jews.qaradawi-doha

Dur­ing his April 26 Fri­day ser­mon at the Omar Bin al-Khattab Mosque in Doha, Qaradawi said he decided to boy­cott the con­fer­ence because he can­not dia­logue with Jews. “…I can­not be with [sic] a con­fer­ence that includes the oppres­sor Jews,” Qaradawi said.

No way I will put my hand in their hands,” Qaradawi added. “Their hands are soiled with blood. Their hands are the hands of killing, the hands of tyranny and the hands of injus­tice. I can­not con­t­a­m­i­nate my hands by putting it in their hands.”

Qaradawi ini­tially announced his inten­tion to boy­cott the con­fer­ence in an inter­view with the Qatari daily news­pa­per Al-Arab on April 22. “I decided to not par­tic­i­pate, so that I would not sit with the Jews on one plat­form… the Jews are usurp­ing Pales­tine and al-Aqsa Mosque and destroy­ing the houses of God…” Qaradawi told Al-Arab reporter.

In the same inter­view, Qaradawi crit­i­cized all efforts to have a dia­logue with other reli­gious groups, claim­ing they are useless.

Qaradawi pre­vi­ously declined to par­tic­i­pate in the 8th annual Doha con­fer­ence in 2011. In a state­ment released by Qaradawi’s office at that time, he report­edly said, “How can we con­duct a dia­logue in a time when they seize lands, shed blood, burn farms, and demol­ish houses? Palestine’s conun­drum has to be resolved first before we sit together at the same table.”

Qaradawi, who heads The Inter­na­tional Union of Mus­lim Schol­ars, has gar­nered world­wide appeal through a wide net­work of asso­ci­a­tions and by mak­ing use of var­i­ous media out­lets. Through his speeches and writ­ings, Qaradawi has demon­strated con­sis­tent sup­port of ter­ror­ist groups that seek to under­mine a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

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