2016 Summer Olympics

The Economist doubles down on its anti-Israel agenda

The Economist had an article in the sports section about the poor treatment of Israeli athletes. Rather than reinforcing the message of the Olympics and promoting sportsmanship it instead doubles down on an anti-Israel agenda.

The first fracas erupted before Rio?s proceedings even began. Unfamiliar with Levantine intrigue, the Olympic committee put the Israeli and Lebanese teams bound for the opening ceremony on the same bus. But their countries are still at war and frown on fraternisation.

Nope, the country with the problem was clearly Lebanon not Israel as it was the Lebanese?team that refused to share a bus. Why describe the situation as if it was mutual hostility?

And when the Israeli team tried to board, Lebanon?s captain barred access. Later during the games, Egypt?s judo champion, Islam El Shahaby, dropped the mandatory bow and snubbed the outstretched hand of his Israeli counterpart. A female Saudi judoka deftly dodged contact with an Israeli by skipping her first round match. Because of injuries, insisted the Saudi media; because of racism, brayed Israel?s.

Once again the countries displaying hatred are not Israel, yet the paper insults Israel by infering that they are donkeys and were wrong to complain about how they were treated.

Such non-contact sports are a regular Olympic fixture. In 2004, an Iranian judoka scheduled to wrestle an Israeli was disqualified for being overweight. Investigators declared she had not deliberately indulged in binge eating, but Iran?s government rewarded her with $125,000, the same sum it gave its gold-medalists.

Hmmm, yet again the country with the problem is not Israel.

Even participants from Jordan and Egypt, countries with peace treaties with Israel, have a hard time juggling the mixed messages from governments and fans alike. Generals in Egypt, Jordan and most recently Saudi Arabia are cosying up to their Israeli counterparts, but their security establishments retain strict laws on contact, including tourism even to Islam?s holy sites under Israel?s control. Fans, too, can be duplicitous. Islamists and Palestinians chide signs of normalisation; those further away long for a release from past shackles. A poll on the Twitter feed of a Sudanese artist living in Qatar claimed 77% of participants supported Arabs playing Israel. ?A boycott is silly and makes Arabs look immature,? tweeted a Sudanese academic.

Yes and the tone and spin this article has taken against the victim of all the snubs is equally immature as well as unprofessional.

Israeli athletes might cheer the free pass they gain when Arabs refuse to compete against them. That favourite Israeli taunt?that Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity?could be used once again. Mr El Shahaby’s snub seems mere tokenism compared to the bullets that killed 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Nonetheless, the Israeli press has strongly criticised his bad sportsmanship.

Seriously? Israel is not allowed to complain?about insults because during a previous Olympics some of their athletes were kidnaped and murdered? What a disgusting and callous thing to say.

?There is still a long way to go in fighting the years of propaganda against us,? bemoaned the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. Others chided Arabs for anti-semitism. Nazi stereotypes have prevailed, one commentator argued, ever since much of the Arab world?s intelligentsia sided with Germany in the second world war in the hope that it might rid them of their British masters and the project for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.


Again the writer belittles what the Jewish people have had to endure.

Olympics, Zika and half a million free condoms in a Catholic country

Obviously the Brazilian’s don’t think that every sperm is sacred.

About 450,000 condoms will be distributed during the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, three times more than for the London Games four years ago, the International Olympic Committee says.

Part of the reason was because 100,000 female condoms will be available for the first time, along with 350,000 condoms for men. About 175,000 packets of lubricant are also being supplied. ? Read more »