Gaza athletes banned from Bethlehem marathon

Israeli military authorities have not issued travel documents to 21 men and one woman who had hoped to compete in this Sunday’s race in Bethlehem, despite an official request from the head of the Palestine Olympic Committee, Jabril Rajoub.

It means the athletes will have missed the chance to run in two marathons within weeks after the United Nations’s relief agency, UNWRA, last month cancelled its race in Gaza – scheduled for April 11 – in protest at a decision by the territory’s Hamas rulers banning women runners.

The controversy has opened the military to accusations of hypocrisy from critics who point out that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) posted a blog on its website criticising Hamas’ decision as a denial of human freedom…

Among the would-be Gaza runners are Sanaa Abu-Bahit, 29, a woman who has entered the 5km part of the race, and Nader Al-Masri, who represented Palestine in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

I wouldn’t expect anything less than hypocrisy, allegiance to Israel’s apartheid ideology.

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13 comments

    • moss

      Include that part of the equation that recognizes being banned from what was – after all – the land where you and your family have lived for generations.

      • List of X

        You could be talking about both Jews and Arabs here. :)
        But if you pick just one (any one) and not the other, that’s another example of hypocrisy right there.

        • moss

          Sorry, but, history, law and treaty disagree. The premises of Zionism were never especially accepted as precedent by anyone excepting and until the collective guilt of the West after the Holocaust decided so.

          The following treaties and law have been ignored by successive Israeli government ever since the original partition of Palestine. The question for expansion, subjugation of the land owners has been the only policy ever since. Apartheid has been the only political policy ever since.

          • List of X

            Moss, you’re right: the world had began approximately in 640 A.D., West has absolutely no reason to feel guilty about anything related to Jews, and everything is Jews’ fault anyway.

            • moss

              Dude, you may feel some need to construct a straw man. That’s your own problem. It has nothing to do with history, It has nothing to do with ideology.

              Like Eid, I had friends who survived the war against fascism, I had friends who survived Nazi concentration camps. Those friendships with friends who were Jews resulted because they were not Zionists and chose to come to the United States rather than build a new Zion in Israel.

              Excepting one of the closest who returned to Poland after escaping the Ghetto uprising. Rather than build the new Zion. If she were alive today she would have continued to oppose the rightwing crap she saw people building in Israel.

        • keaneo

          There is no choice to be made between reactionary Arab monarchies and reactionary Israeli pretend democracies. The hypocrisy lies with an Israeli government that pretends to be the bastion of freedom instead of an exploitive bigoted overclass based on ethnicity.

          • List of X

            Wait, are you saying it’s the Arab monarchies and pretend democracies that have Jewish parties in their parliaments, and Jews on their Supreme Courts?

            • keaneo

              No one regularly posting here defends Arab monarchies, pretend democracies – anymore than you should wish to defend racist politicians in charge of Israel. The same politicians who deny the right to marriage to “mixed” couples.

              Countering evil and corruption by trying to defend someone else’s evil and corruption is not a new game. It doesn’t turn opposition to the practice of bigotry and apartheid into anti-Semitism. It doesn’t turn the Knesset into a democratic assembly while the government works at denying the right to vote to all the people it governs.

              Like Moss said up above, if you feel the need to put words in my mouth to justify your defense of Israel’s policies under a rightwing government, that’s sad. And futile. It only provokes the question – why are you called upon to defend lousy ideology and politics because of ethnicity?

              History repeats itself when your defense of Israel is the same as the defense offered by Boers of Apartheid South Africa. I had to deal with it when voting to oppose American athletes taking part in events in South Africa as part of the international opposition to apartheid. You’re stuck with offering the same defense as white supremacists. Your own website mostly reads like you’re beyond that crap.

              • List of X

                I am mostly beyond that crap, thank you for noticing. I don’t automatically defend every Israeli policy, and I don’t justify the Israel’s actions by saying that Arab countries are worse. But hypocrisy is what I have a huge problem with. I don’t like constantly seeing the double standard applied to Israel time and time again. Yes, we should get outraged about Israel’s shooting rockets into Gaza, but so should we get outraged about Gaza shooting rockets into Israel.

  1. Martyn Wilson

    Israel can do no wrong, and is entirely above criticism. So by definition the Israeli military cannot be accused of hypocrisy, and what they have done in this case is perfectly all right, and indeed is to be commended. Surely you realise that?.

  2. MinnesotaGUY

    I was going to suggest that palestine try to hold an olympics, but Israel would probably just bomb the opening ceremony killing everyone

  3. eideard

    Argument and discussion has devolved to the level of NRA rationales. A post about banning athletes for the wrong political reasons is countered by rockets fired into Israel and Gaza. That is absurd.

    Comment is closed.