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August 8, 2016 9

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 These days, anti-Israel vio­lence at the Olympics has been replaced by pol­i­tics, with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from coun­tries hos­tile to Israel going to great lengths to avoid any inter­ac­tion with Israeli athletes.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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March 27, 2015 1

Arab Media Cartoons Relating to the Israeli Elections and Tensions with the US

Fol­low­ing Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu’s elec­tion vic­tory ear­lier this month, and the increas­ing ten­sions in the rela­tion­ship between PM Netanyahu and Pres­i­dent Obama, news­pa­pers across the Arab world pub­lished a num­ber of related anti-Israel and anti-Semitic car­toons. Some rep­re­sent unhap­pi­ness within the Arab world over PM Netanyahu’s vic­tory, por­tray­ing him and the Israeli vot­ers as inher­ently vio­lent and racist, while oth­ers resort to the anti-Semitic stereo­type of Jews and Israel con­trol­ling Pres­i­dent Obama and the US government.

The car­toons reflect a wide­spread view within the Arab world that Israeli elec­tion results rep­re­sent a shift towards a more extreme right-wing stance on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which will ulti­mately result in dam­age to the Pales­tin­ian cause. They also high­light a belief that the rift in US-Israel rela­tions will ulti­mately fail to alter over­all US sup­port of and per­ceived bias towards Israel and its policies.

The fol­low­ing are some exam­ples of the car­toons published:

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August 26, 2014 5

Claims That ISIS Has Jewish Roots Grow In Muslim World

isis-jews-adl

Car­toon pub­lished on Al-Iraq Agency News website

Sev­eral promi­nent pub­lic fig­ures in parts of the Mus­lim World, includ­ing reli­gious fig­ures, elected offi­cials and schol­ars, are pro­mot­ing a con­spir­acy sug­gest­ing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)was cre­ated by the Jews and Zion­ists to tear Islam apart.

ISIS has engaged in a mur­der­ous ter­ror­ist cam­paign and has con­quered sig­nif­i­cant ter­ri­tory stretch­ing between Iraq and Syria over the past sev­eral months. In June it declared its advances to be the lat­est Caliphate and renamed itself the Islamic State.

The fol­low­ing are some exam­ples that demon­strate the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of the absurd accu­sa­tion that Jews and Israel are respon­si­ble for the cre­ation and rise of ISIS.

  • August 7: The World Asso­ci­a­tion for Al-Azhar Grad­u­ates, an umbrella group based in Egypt for schol­ars con­nected to Al-Azhar Uni­ver­sity, Egypt’s top reli­gious author­ity, pub­lished a state­ment on its web­site describ­ing how ISIS and other extrem­ist groups are “[a] Jew­ish prod­uct under var­i­ous names that change every now and then.” The state­ment cites the head of the association’s chap­ter in Pak­istan, Sheik Sahib Zadeh Aziz, as say­ing, “The ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion ISIS is a Zion­ist plot which aims to mur­der Mus­lims, shed their blood, and rape [their] women and girls.”
  • August 6: Dur­ing an inter­view with Dijlah, an Iraqi-based satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion, pop­u­lar scholar Ahmed al-Kubbaisi said, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi [ISIS leader]…..is no more than a Jew­ish agent… and even Muham­mad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of Wah­habism is a hun­dred per­cent Jew­ish prod­uct.” He added, “I am respon­si­ble for this state­ment before the lord. [I swear] by God, this is an orga­nized Jew­ish move­ment to tear apart the Ummah [Islamic Nation] and it did tear it apart.” In response to his attack on the founder of Wah­habism, the offi­cial ver­sion of Islam imple­mented in Saudi Ara­bia and a num­ber of other Arab-Gulf states, the Mufti of Saudi Ara­bia and other promi­nent schol­ars in the region attacked al-Kubbaisi for affil­i­at­ing ibn Abd al-Wahhab with the Jews — an ulti­mate insult in the Arab world. Con­se­quently, a Saudi lawyer sub­mit­ted charges to the Dubai police, which sub­mit­ted the com­plaint to the attor­ney gen­eral in Dubai.
  • August 4: Iran’s Sec­re­tary of the Expe­di­ency Dis­cern­ment Coun­cil, Mohsen Rezae, said dur­ing a TV inter­view with the Tehran-based Alalam TV that the “Zion­ist Entity” is behind ISIS. He said that because there is a small num­ber of “Zion­ists” world­wide, they usu­ally try to get rid of oth­ers by mak­ing them fight each other. “There is infor­ma­tion that al-Baghdadi him­self [ISIS leader] received train­ing and instruc­tions at the Israeli Entity,” Rezae said.
  • July 29: A promi­nent Shia’a cleric in Iraq, where ISIS has con­quered sig­nif­i­cant ter­ri­tory over the past few months and killed many Shia’a Mus­lims, Aya­tol­lah Sayed Mor­tada Al-Qazwini, report­edly described ISIS dur­ing an Eid ser­mon in Ker­bala as “a Jew­ish Israeli orga­ni­za­tion, estab­lished to tear apart the land of Muslims.”

Sev­eral Arab news­pa­pers and TV sta­tions have also cir­cu­lated a story claim­ing that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a Jew­ish Mossad agent by the name of Simon Elliot. This claim orig­i­nally appeared in the anti-Semitic and con­spir­a­to­r­ial Amer­i­can pub­li­ca­tion Vet­er­ans Today. In addi­tion, an ad cam­paign against ISIS appear­ing on Afaq, an Iraqi satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion, showed a snake with the mark of ISIS com­ing out of the Jew­ish Star of David.

Even the noto­ri­ous anti-Semitism of a group such as ISIS is not enough to pre­vent some in the Mus­lim world from claim­ing Jews are respon­si­ble for the ISIS reign of ter­ror in Iraq and Syria.

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