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August 8, 2016

Israeli Athletes Encounter Hostility At Rio Olympic Games

The Olympic games, currently taking place in Rio, aim to bring together the best athletes from around the world in the spirit of promoting peace and unity through competitive sports. For Israelis, however, the Olympics will forever be tainted by the 1972 Munich games, where 11 Israeli athletes were brutally murdered by Palestinian terrorists. These days, anti-Israel violence at the Olympics has been replaced by politics, with representatives from countries hostile to Israel going to great lengths to avoid any interaction with Israeli athletes.

On Friday, members of the Israeli Olympic delegation were physically blocked from boarding an opening-ceremonies bound bus by the head of the Lebanese delegation, apparently because he didn’t want his team to ride with Israelis. The Lebanese Minister of Youth and Sport praised the delegation head, whose actions were lauded in the Lebanese media, saying his actions were “principled and patriotic.” Following the incident, the head of Lebanon’s Olympic Committee was rebuked by the Olympic organizers.
Israeli Olympic Team

On Sunday, Saudi Judo fighter Joud Fahmy forfeited her first-round match against Christianne Legentil of Mauritius in order to avoid facing Israeli Gili Cohen in the next round (who Fahmy would have faced if she had defeated Legentil). The Saudi Olympic team tweeted that Fahmy withdrew because of “injuries” to her arms and legs, but the Israeli press reported that Fahmy was in fact not hurt and dropped out to avoid competing against Cohen.

A similar incident occurred during the 2012 London Olympics, when Iranian judo champion Javad Mahjoub, who was scheduled to face Israeli Arik Ze’evi, withdrew from competition, claiming health concerns. Mahjoub had previously acknowledged throwing matches to avoid competing against Israeli athletes.

In recent years, countries hostile to Israel, including Kuwait and Malaysia, have denied Israeli athletes visas to participate in international sporting competitions. The most infamous case was from 2009, when the United Arab Emirates denied Israeli tennis player Shahar Pe’er a visa to compete in an international tennis tournament in Dubai. A number of important tennis figures, including Venus Williams and Andy Roddick (who dropped out in protest), publicly condemned the UAE decision, and Pe’er was allowed to compete the following year, albeit with heavy restrictions.

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October 9, 2013

“Mein Kampf” Used To Validate Anti-Semitic Forgery On Popular Arab TV Program

A Kuwaiti television program focusing on conspiracy theories featured a discussion on The Pro­to­cols of the Learned Elders of Zion. But instead of debunking this noto­ri­ous anti-Semitic forgery, the program’s host and guest pundit cited Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf to prove the authenticity of the Protocols’ claims.

The program, which aired on September 30 on Al-Rai TV, was hosted by Dr. Mohammed Al-Awady, a well-known television personality, and featured pundit Dr. Muhana Al Muhana.

During their discussion, Al-Awady quoted sections from Mein Kampf, Hitler’s blueprint for world domination and for the destruction of the Jews. Al Muhana responded by claiming that Jews are “wicked” because the Talmud teaches them to treat non-Jews badly and to “suck the other’s blood.” 

Citing Hitler’s genocidal anti-Jewish rant in Mein Kampf to validate the Protocols fantasy of a Jewish conspiracy to achieve global domination is not only absurd, but a disturbing reminder of the blatant anti-Semitism that is still broadcast in that region.

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October 4, 2013

Kuwaiti Officers Reportedly Force Two Arrested Men To Pose As Hitler For Photo

kuwait-migrants-hitler-twitter-nazi-salute-officers

Two arrested men reportedly forced by Kuwaiti officers to give Nazi salute after mustaches shaved to resemble Hitler.

Two migrant workers arrested by Kuwaiti law enforcement in a recent raid were apparently forced by officers to pose for a photo giving a Nazi salute after having their mustaches shaved to resemble Hitler.

There is no indication that the officers, who apparently posted the photo on social media, were acting on behalf of Kuwaiti authorities.

According to the Kuwaiti daily Al Rai, the photo has caught the attention of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior, which has issued orders to investigate the matter and to identify the officers.

Reports of this incident first appeared on Twitter on October 3 when Sara Al-Darees, a Kuwaiti activist, posted the photo on her twitter account. Al-Darees gained international attention in July 2013 when she was arrested on charges of Tweeting messages deemed offensive to the Emir of Kuwait.

According to Al Rai, three officers arrested two migrant workers during a raid on an alcohol production facility. Alcohol is banned in Kuwait.

While the behavior of the officers may be an isolated incident, it serves as a reminder of the pervasiveness of Hitler and Nazi imagery in the region. From smart phone applications to advertisements to blatant Holocaust denial, the ubiquity of such imagery contributes to the triv­i­al­iza­tion of and desen­si­ti­za­tion to the unpar­al­leled hor­rors of the Holocaust.

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