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January 7, 2014

United Arab Emirates Bars Another Israeli Athlete from Sporting Competition

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Dan Mori

Update: On January 12, 2014, the Vitesse football team issued the following statement:

“In retrospect, different organizations have said there were options to make it possible to travel to the UAE with Mori, who is Israeli. The complexity around organizing travel to countries with specific entry procedures in a short space of time meant not all the options were utilized. Vitesse regrets the commotion and offers apologies to everyone who feels in any way affected by the decision to exclude Mori.”

Once again, the United Arab Emirates has reportedly acted to prevent an Israeli athlete from entering the country to participate in a local sporting event. According to news reports, Dutch soccer team Vitesse Arnhem was informed on Saturday that Israeli squad member Dan Mori would not be allowed to travel to Abu Dhabi for upcoming soccer matches, despite previous assurances that Mori would be admitted. Vitesse Arnhem decided to travel to the UAE without Mori, a move that drew criticism from Dutch politicians and organizations.

The most well-known incident involving an Israeli athlete being barred from the UAE occurred in 2009 when tennis player Shahar Peer was refused a visa to participate in the Dubai Tennis Championship. As a result, a number of international tennis stars, including Venus Williams, publically condemned the visa rejection, and Andy Roddick, the 2008 men’s singles champion, withdrew from the tournament. The Dubai tournament was heavily fined for its actions. Although Peer was granted a visa to participate in subsequent years, her access and mobility were severely limited by the UAE.

A more recent episode occurred in December 2013, when the Israeli under-18 chess team competed in the World Youth Chess Championship in Dubai. According to reports, the UAE had initially refused to allow the Israeli team to compete, but reversed its decision after FIDE – the World Chess Federation – threatened to nullify the tournament.

The difficulties encountered by Israeli athletes exist not just in the UAE but across the broader Arab world, and even when Israelis are permitted to participate they often encounter severe prejudice. An example of this occurred during the October 2013 FINA Swimming World Cup tournament in Doha, Qatar, when organizers reportedly removed an Israeli flag from outside the aquatic center where the event was taking place, and TV coverage of a race involving an Israeli swimmer covered over the Israeli flag on the screen. And during the same month, the Tunisian Tennis Federation was suspended from the Davis Cup for one year after Tunisian player Malek Jaziri refused to play a Davis Cup match against Israeli Amir Weintraub.

Most international sporting associations require that hosts facilitate the participation of all athletes, regardless of ethnicity or nationality.

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November 20, 2013

UAE Book Fair Engages Readers With Anti-Semitism

The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) in the United Arab Emirates, which reportedly attracted 1 million visitors from across the region, featured several infamous anti-Semitic books, including the notorious anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.sharjah-book-fair-jews-adl-anti-semitism

The ten-day book fair, which concluded last week, was organized by Department of Culture and Information – Sharjah Government. The mission of the fair, according to organizers, is “to cultivate the love for literature among people by enriching their experience of the written word.”

Does the Emirate of Sharjah believe that promoting hate literature contributes to this mission?

The anti-Semitic books for sale at the fair were listed alongside mainstream books in various categories. For example, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion was listed in the “Political Science” category. Among the other anti-Semitic books featured at the fair were:

  • Blood for The Pie of Zion (The Jewish District) by Najib Al Gailany. This novel tells a story of a Christian priest from Damascus who was abducted by the Jews in order to use his blood for Jewish rituals. The story details how Jews danced and celebrated while Rabbis drain the blood of the elderly catholic priest. The book was listed in the “Novels” category and sold for 15 AED, or approximately $4.
  • The Jews and the Secret Movements in the Crusades by Baha Al-Amir. The book, which suggests that the Jews played a role in the Crusades, includes an introduction in which the author claims that “God the almighty declares in his statement to the people that all wars were started by Jews.” The book was listed in the “International Affairs” category and sold for 50 AED (approximately $14).
  • Human Sacrifices and Talmudic Slaughtering by Jews and Pagans by Fathi Muhammad Zughbi. The book was listed in the “Faith” category and sold for 83 AED (approximately $23).
  • Mein Kampf by Adolf Hilter. This book was listed in the “General knowledge” category and sold for 20 AED (approximately $5).

The fair provided several grants and awards in various fields of literature. In the past, it reportedly gave a grant to Gilad Atzmon to translate his anti-Semitic book “The Wandering Who,” into Arabic

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February 1, 2013

UAE Official Links Israel and Jews To Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracies Via Twitter

Update — 11/9/15: Dubai Police Chief, Dahi Khalfan, appears to have resumed his activity on social media, and uses anti-Semitic statements to respond to opponents of the United Arab Emirates. On November 3, he wrote on his official Twitter account several statements to promote anti-Semitic narratives and anti-Israel conspiracy theories. In response to a comment praising Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, Khalfan wrote, “On one side he appears as if he is against the aggression against Gaza, but at the same time his military airplanes participate in joint air maneuvers with the Jews.”

He then commented, “The Mason Brotherhood [Muslim Brotherhood] is part of a plot by the Jews.” He also claimed in another post that an Israeli leader had confessed that Israel would win over Arabs by spreading sectarianism among them.

It should be noted that some of his controversial Tweets appear to have been deleted later.

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“…how fast you romanticized the Jews, couldn’t you wait a year at least… such a rush.”

Dubai Police Chief, Dahi Khalfan, who is known for his public animosity toward the Muslim Brotherhood, is increasingly using anti-Israel conspiracy theories and anti-Semitism in his Twitter campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood.

Khalfan, who also holds the rank of Lieutenant General and serves as a member of the Executive Council of the Government of Dubai, has over 300 thousand followers on his Twitter account, which he devotes primarily to criticism the Muslim Brotherhood.

In his tweets, Khalfan tries to discredit the Brotherhood by describing nefarious allegiance to Israel and Jews. The way Khalfan uses these conspiracy theories demonstrates that no allegation made against Jews and Israel is too absurd when it is used to stigmatize and discredit others in Arab world.

“The Jewish-Muslim Brotherhood alliance and the project of establishing Greater Israel.”

On January 2, for example, Khalfan Retweeted a link to a YouTube video titled “The Jewish-Muslim Brotherhood alliance and the project of establishing Greater Israel.” The video accuses the Jews of using the Brotherhood to achieve their goal of controlling Muslims and establishing greater Israel.

Several of Khalfan’s tweets from January 4 attempt to discredit the Brotherhood by suggesting that the group cares too much about Jews. For example:

  • When one of the brotherhood officials, Essam El-Erian, called for Egyptian Jews to return to Egypt to accelerate the destruction of Israel, Khalfan mocked the Brotherhood, tweeting, “Essam El-erian says to the Jews who left Egypt ‘Wahashtoona’ [love song: We miss you].”
  • He also tweeted, “The Muslim Brotherhood fell down in public opinion as their ugly creed is shown to be ‘The goal justifies the mean’/// how fast you romanticized the Jews, couldn’t you wait a year at least… such a rush.”
  • A third tweet read, “Yesterday the song of the Ikhwanjia [Muslim Brotherhood] was: in Millions we march to liberate Palestine, but today the Ikhwanjia’s chant ‘Oh precious Jews, come back where you are, take whatever you want’”

Below is a sampling of Khalfan’s tweets linking Israel to the Brotherhood, which he views as a safeguard for Israel.

  • On January 26, Khalfan tweeted: “The Brotherhood is a corrupt group that cannot lead the Ummah [Islamic nation]. They came [to power] by an American choice to achieve the security of Israel – no more.”
  • On January 25, Khalfan tweeted that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are complicit in a Muslim Brotherhood’s role to protect Israel: “Get the facts: the Muslim Brotherhood means ensuring the safety of Israel by Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad…”

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