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Sunday, June 25, 2017


Rogel Alpher writes in Haaretz:

The 20th Maccabiah Games, which opens July 4, is a racist and ultranationalist event that violates the spirit of the Olympics. The Olympics are based on universal values of rising above differences of race and religion. But the condition for participation in the “Jewish Olympics” is racist. Only Jews take part in the Maccabiah

This is funny because four years ago Haaretz itself has reported on Arab athletes in the Maccabiah Games since the very first tournament in 1932 when Egyptian boxers  participated. The newspaper interviewed Husam Aruk, who was a gymnast in the previous three Maccabiahs:
“I have never felt the need to ask myself what I am. I have a long history with Jews, and I’ve been living and training with them from the day I chose the sport of gymnastics. All my friends are Jewish and they certainly know who I am.”
Aruk says that even though he did not encounter many Arab-Israeli athletes in the two Maccabiahs in which he competed (2005 and 2009), he was never made to feel like an outsider. Nor did he encounter offensive behavior on the part of rival athletes. The crowd always rooted for him even though he is “a non-Jew,” he says. “This is the first time I’ve even thought about this issue,” Aruk admits. His parents do not object to his participating in the Jewish Olympics and encourage him to carry on in his chosen path.
Some Arab athletes who participated wanted to keep a lower profile:

A Muslim athlete who competed in the past in the Maccabiah, and asked not to be named, theorized that the dearth of Arab-Israeli participants stems from, among other things, the objection of prominent figures in the Arab community to the “Jewish Zionist” concept of the Games. Despite repeated requests from Haaretz to Arab members of Knesset Ahmed Tibi and Hanin Zuabi for a comment on this matter, no response was ever received.
The MKs were not the only ones to keep mum. Many Arab-Israeli athletes declined being interviewed for this article, claiming that “nothing good for us is likely to come of it,” as one of them wrote in response to a request from Haaretz. 
Yes, Arabs in Israel are reluctant to compete because of - Arab racism. A topic that Alpher wouldn't dare think to be worth exploring.

Now it is true that the Maccabiah Games is primarily for Jews worldwide, but it is up to individual countries' Maccabiah committees to decide who is eligible. So Argentina will allow non-Jews with Jewish spouses to participate, for example.

But does Alpher object to the Gay Games? To the Deaflympics or Paralympics or Special Olympics? To the Asian Games that exclude Israel? All of which have criteria that do not allow everyone to participate?

Alpher doesn't explore these questions. Instead, he says "The Maccabiah Games is a racist event that makes the 1936 Berlin Olympics seem liberal."

It is a waste of time to be offended by such stupidity. Alpher, like other Haaretz columnists, long ago stopped trying to make cogent arguments and instead now compete in their own games - to see how much they can outdo each other in insulting Israel.

Alpher tries very hard to be a gold medalist in the Haaretz Games, but he is always up against stiff competition from Gideon Levy and Amira Hass and others. I guess they get paid by how many howls of outrage they elicit as they try to one-up the other with more lies and insane accusations.




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