What’s wrong with banning Israeli athletes?

Zan Azlee

Modified 25 Jan 2019, 9:06 am

COMMENT | Many Malaysians are very worked up and angry with the fact that the government has banned Israeli athletes from coming into the country to compete in any tournaments or competitions here. This is, of course, due to the recent announcement regarding the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships happening in Sarawak this July.

The ones who are angry with the government’s decisions are arguing that, although we do not agree with the Israeli government’s foreign policy, especially with Palestine, we should not be mixing politics and sports. By doing so, they argue that Malaysia is being racist and unsportsmanlike.

This is going to take many of my readers by surprise, including my own wife, but I am in support of the ban. I support the ban because I think that we can never truly separate politics from anything in life. It is just a matter of prioritising issues, seeing the bigger picture and making the best decision.

We are definitely not against the Israeli athletes or even the Israeli people. It is the Israeli government and its policies that we are against. A ban like this it will bring attention to the fact that Malaysia will stick firm on its stand against it and the atrocities that it has and continues to commit...

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