Alarming News

February 27, 2009

Backwards Dubai

I’ve been meaning to blog about Shahar Peer, the female tennis player from Israel who was denied entry to Dubai for a tournament, for awhile now. Jewcy sums up:

The turnaround comes too late for Ram’s fellow Israeli, Shahar Peer, who was refused a visa on the grounds that her participation might provoke “fan anger” in the wake of Israel’s recent war with Hamas in Gaza. The women’s competition is already underway and Peer is absent – not because her performance isn’t up to scratch, but because of her Israeli passport. Ram’s exemption from the ban appears to be the result of external pressure – in protest at the Peer decision, the Tennis Channel in the US said it wouldn’t broadcast the event, while the Wall Street Journal European edition pulled its sponsorship – and not any soul-searching on the part of the UAE’s rulers. The emirate’s terse statement announcing that Ram would, after all, be allowed in, didn’t provide a reason as to why and studiously avoided any mention of the words “Israel” or “Israeli.”

Thanks to this rather undignified violation of fundamental sporting ethics, Dubai’s self-image has taken something of a battering. Dubai likes to present itself as an exception in the Arab world; Ibiza, if you will, set to a Middle Eastern rhythm, with all the attendant wealth and glamor and sun-drenched hedonism. The migrant workers who built its shimmering facade, most of them drawn from South Asian countries and living in wretched conditions, have long known the sordid truth. Yet it took the exclusion of an Israeli celebrity to achieve something that the daily trials of thousands of nameless Bangladeshi laborers could never do: persuade the world to look at Dubai a little more cynically. As the Wall Street Journal acidly observed, “a city-state that fancies itself a global mecca for commerce, sport and recreation ought to be able to handle a few Jews in its cosmopolitan midst.” Yes, and they might want to tackle these constant reports about slavery as well.


Posted by Karol at 10:08 AM |
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And that’s just the most progressive of the Arab nations….
Oh. But don’t worry. We can bring democracy to these people. Really.

Posted by: Von Bek at February 27, 2009 at 11:35 am

Not really.
It’s interesting, because Qatar is just as much of an obscurantist, Islamic backwater and she was allowed to play in one of the circuit matches there.
It’s disgraceful, but not surprising. The thing that really pissed me off was the reaction of the Williams sisters. I don’t hold the fact that their father is a virulently anti-white, hateful racist against them, but I don’t see how anyone can continue to defend them-especially that creep Venus-after this:
“I have to look at the bigger picture,” said Venus, who sits on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Players’ Council and has talked the situation through with chief executive Larry Scott, who remains in America. “The big picture is that Shahar Peer didn’t get a chance to play, but making an immediate decision we also have to look at sponsors, fans and everyone who has invested a lot in the tournament.”
Venus Williams Toes Party Line In Peer Row
Why would any tennis fan root for these asshats?

Posted by: Gerard at February 27, 2009 at 3:08 pm

“Yes, and they might want to tackle these constant reports about slavery as well.”
But any child educated in the public school system of the United States knows that the only evil monster that ever allowed slavery in history was the United States! How can you possibly infer that some other country has done or is doing that?

Posted by: Carlos at February 27, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Carlos, if every child in the USA thinks that, berate the boards of education.
You get a lot of idiot brits who go to places like Dubai and allow themselves to be seduced by the cheap prices and wonderfully garish hotels.
Mind you, I seem to remember somebody talking about how people should “not(be) judging a countries politics from foreign shores.”.

Posted by: bryan at February 27, 2009 at 7:07 pm

What’s with that, anyway?
Why would you want to visit one of your country’s former colonies, esp. if it’s a desert wasteland?

Posted by: Gerard at February 27, 2009 at 9:10 pm

I wouldn’t. But you’ll always get people who admire the dictators who have the trains running on time, no? Every country has them.

Posted by: bryan at February 28, 2009 at 3:13 am

Cheap prices? I take it you have never been there?

Posted by: richard at February 28, 2009 at 8:33 am

Why would I want to? It’s a more garish, Muslim-Arab immitation of Las Vegas, and I have no intention of traveling there.

Posted by: Gerard at February 28, 2009 at 10:10 am

I’ve heard people say property is cheap there, and jewelry. Some of our has-been celebs live there as well. Maybe there’s some taxation thing going on there as well.

Posted by: bryan at February 28, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Ah, we agree on something.
This is an absolute joke – she is a professional athlete, and one of the best tennis players in the world. The mere fact she is Israeli, should mean nothing at all as far as this tournament is concerned… the other players should have boycotted this…you don’t treat people this way, its akin to preventing Arthur Ashe from playing tournaments at all-white country clubs. The WTA should have supported its player, and made more of an effort with Dubai. By allowing this to happen, you’re just silently supporting their ridiculous position. Rather than assuming there would be “fan anger” – maybe instead it would force “fan realization” that she’s just an accomplished female athlete, like every other woman in the tournament…regardless of her nationality and religious background.

Posted by: katie g. at February 28, 2009 at 4:12 pm
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