MembersMalaysia Stripped of Paralympics Event

Some Muslim countries remain wary of hosting Israeli athletes.

By Yossi Aloni |
Israeli athletes
Photo: Miriam Alster/FLASH90

They want to keep up appearances of consistent protest against the Israeli “occupation,” but don’t want to appear as antisemitic or racist.

Malaysia, for example, was scheduled to host the World Para Swimming Championships this summer, an event that serves as a qualifier for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. However, the Muslim country made it clear from the start that it would not permit entry to any Israeli athletes. Israel is by now used to such discrimination, and quickly launched a coordinated protest campaign through media and global Jewish organizations. What was new this time around was the reaction of the international community. In just a matter of weeks, the International Paralympic Committee convened in London and decided to strip Malaysia of its hosting rights.

Malaysia’s 93-year-old prime minister, Mahathir Bin Mohamad, recently caused a stir by making antisemitic...

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