Friday, February 20, 2009

The Final Verdict


ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA, USA – Following a special meeting of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Board conducted earlier today in connection with the decision by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this past week to deny the visa application of Israeli Tour player Shahar Peer, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced that effective immediately it is taking the actions described below.

Commenting on today’s actions, Larry Scott, Chairman & CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour stated: “The actions taken today are intended to redress the wrongs suffered by Shahar Peer, who was victimized by an unjust policy of discrimination by the UAE. These actions are also intended to send a clear message that our Tour will not tolerate discrimination of any kind and that we will never allow this situation to happen again, in UAE or elsewhere. Thanks to the courage of Shahar, and all those individuals and organizations – including her fellow players – that supported her, the UAE has changed their policy and another barrier of discrimination has fallen.”

Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Actions in re Shahar Peer, Anna Lena Groenefeld and Dubai Tournament:

· Shahar Peer Ranking Points - The awarding of 130 ranking points to Shahar Peer – an amount equal to the points that she earned during the same week in 2008 (week of Memphis) that she was unable to defend this past week in Dubai as a result of the denial of her entry visa by UAE. Such points will remain on Ms. Peer’s ranking until such time as she has had an opportunity to earn equivalent points at the next tournament offering ranking points equal to the Dubai tournament.

· Shahar Peer Prize Money – The awarding of US$44,250 to Shahar Peer – an amount equal to the average prize money that she earned per tournament (singles and doubles) in 2008, grossed up to take account for the increased prize money on offer at 2009 tournaments.

· Anna Lena Groenefeld Prize Money – The awarding of US$7,950 to Anna Lena Groenefeld, who was to be Shahar Peer’s doubles partner in Dubai and who was unable to compete in doubles with Ms. Peer as a result of the denial of Ms. Peer’s entry visa by UAE. This amount is equal to the average prize money that she earned per tournament in doubles in 2008, grossed up to take account for the increased prize money on offer at 2009 tournaments.

· Dubai Tennis Championships Financial Penalty – The fining of the Dubai tournament US$300,000 for breach of Tour Rules, By-Laws and conditions of membership related to the denial of entry to Shahar Peer. This fine amount represents the highest fine ever levied against a Tour member. Proceeds from the fine shall be used to compensate each of Ms. Peer and Ms. Groenefeld, with the balance to be donated to a charity or charities, to be determined by the Tour in consultation with Ms. Peer.

· Dubai Tennis Championships Financial Performance Guarantee – The posting by the Dubai tournament of a US$2 million financial performance guarantee by July 1, 2009 that the conditions described below will be satisfied.

· Dubai Tennis Championships Conditions for Continued Membership – The establishment of a series of conditions to be met by the Dubai tournament in order to maintain its membership and be included on the Tour’s 2010 calendar, including: (i) confirmation of the written assurances already received that all players who qualify for the tournament shall, regardless of nationality, or any other reason, be allowed to play in the Dubai event and shall be issued entry visas or permits, (ii) proof of approved UAE entry permit to enter the UAE for any Israeli player a minimum of eight (8) weeks prior to the start of the 2010 Dubai tournament, and (iii) guarantee that Ms. Peer shall be offered a wildcard to play the Dubai tournament in 2010 in the event that she does not qualify by ranking.


Graf_sampras said...

Ok -- now that they have taken action - WTA - and punished DUBAI ...and Peer is now the "martyr of tennis vindicated for injustice against her"....

now that WTA - for the sake of EQUAL RIGHTS which is a POLITICAL statement...

would WTA STAND UP FOR THE POLITICAL and economic rights of Palestinians -- who Shahar Peer's STATE of ISRAEL does not grant EQUALITY to ?....after stealing their land...and for which State Shahar Peer ENJOYS the FREEDOM to be a Tennis Player but Palestinians CAN'T have the freedom and equal rights to be Human Beings -- like Shahar Peer - and perhaps produce some TENNIS PLAYERS to perhaps play a Fair Game of Tennis in Dubai, New York, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, GAZA (they could invite Shahar there too -- just as SOON as ISRAEL STOPS making GAZA into a PRISON CONCENTRATION CAMP)...

and then the WTA , BILLIE JEAN KING who stands for EQUAL RIGHTS (such as for gays and women but NOT SO MUCH for palestinians) --

will be soooooooooo proud that they have TAKEN A STAND for EQUALITY with NO DISCRIMINATION

like they DO for women in DUBAI's tennis tournament....

it would be soooooooooooooo impressive and such a great display of conscience for JUSTICE........

Michael said...

Finally, the WTA stops wishy-washing, drops the gloves, and lands a nice punch!


Sure, this is not the end of discrimination and all things evil, and you bring up many serious and valid points. But these are not central to what the WTA is doing, namely playing tennis. The decision to fail to issue a visa by the UAE was a discriminatory stance that cannot be tolerated.

If Israel had a tournament and violated the economic rights of a Palestinian player by requiring a large fee to play or reduced prize money, I think that would be denounced with much the same vigor (blocking someone from playing is worse than making it more difficult).

vw said...

donated to a charity or charities, to be determined by the Tour in consultation with Ms. Peer.~

This is a nice punishing blow. Hopefully, Shahar decides on a charity that supports Israelis who were maimed by rockets fired from Gaza and South Lebanon.

HoiHa said...

Graf Sampras - I get where you are comming from (I may not agree but I understand it).

However, I have a problem with the way Dubai handled this. If they had wanted to make a political and/or human rights statement, so be it. But, IMHO, the essence of making such a decision is to do so while ACCEPTING the consequences of standing up for that principle.

While what happened in Gaza occurred after they had agreed to host the event, there nonetheless was sufficient time following Gaza for Dubai to stand up and say they would not be allowing Israeli players' visas. Had they done that, then the onus would have been on the WTA and the ATP to make the decision as to whether to move the event out of Dubai or to take some other action.

The problem is Dubai did not do this - they tried to have their cake and to eat it too, if you will. This is not principled action IMHO. When Ghandi and Martin Luther King acted, they did so having accepted the fact that their actions for the greater good would mean they would have to accept the consequences of those actions which, for them and many of their followers, meant jail and imprisonment.

That is principle. That is standing up for what you believe at any cost.

Dubai further undermined it's position by granting Ram a visa - for if they were standing on principle and were really uniting behind the "Hamas" cause, then they would have been willing to accept the consequences that they would have faced from the ATP tour.

Sorry if that offends but it's really how I see it. We are entitled to stand up for rights we believe in but we lose credibility when we are not willing to accept the consequences that taking such an action entails.

HoiHa said...

I would also add that as far as I know (and please correct if I am mistaken here) Dubai has never ever said that their decision was an act on behalf of the Palestinian cause. We are all making assumptions that that is what it is based upon but they did not even have the courage of principle to even go as far as to say that the visa denial was for that reason - as I understand it, they simply said they were concerned about security issues.

HoiHa said...

OK - last comment on this subject - just read where Andy Roddick publically stated he would not be playing in Dubai because they denied a visa for Peer - that is principle especially as Andy will lose ranking points as a result. He has accepted the consequences of his stand.

Well done Andy. You have gone up a peg in my book.

tangerine said...

Craig, a player has finally decided to make a stand and show some leadership over the Dubia fiasco. Guess who the ballsy player was? I'll give you a hint: it wasn't any of of the top three who whined all last year about player's rights and are on the player's council now because they wanted to so something but have remained too quiet over Dubai's treatment of the Israeli players.

No, it was the one and only ANDY RODDICK, the guy with the biggest balls in the room, who finally said something. Do a search for Roddick and Dubai on Google, the story is there.

I've always respected and admired Roddick's character and integrity but this is something else. He actually managed to put Roger and Rafa to shame. Bravo Andy!

dearg said...

Fair play, Roddick stepped up to the mark when every other player was slinking away…

Helen W said...

HoiHa, I find your writing absolutely exquisite. Thoughtful, empathic, highly intelligent, beautifully articulate. I simply drink it up.

Craig Hickman said...

tangy, I'm with you. I front paged his stance. (You may feel free to do the same next time [hint, hint])


Helen W

I agree with you on HoiHa's writing. I'm so glad she is with us.

Tennis said...

Roddick's decision not to defend the Dubai title is impressive. He's definitely standing up for what he believes in.

Tennis Viewer

rabbit said...

Fully echo the views of Craig and Helen_W on HoiHa's writing! Simply crystal clear and beautiful! Thanks.

And way to go, Andy!

tw said...

I also believe Andy would have a tough time traveling to Dubai from Memphis with such a tight schedule.

MMT said...

He did it last year.

MMT said...

And won Dubai.

Savannah said...

Let us not forget that the WTA has asked Dubai to underwrite a large portion of the tour. With the Stanford Financial ponzi scheme collapse this is more crucial than ever.

IMO there are no good guys here.

And it should be kept in mind that Europe views the Arab/Israeli situation very differently than we do here in the States.

Graf_sampras said...

HOIHA ..YES YOU are right -- dubai tournament did not say it was an expression towards the gaza events or related events...but we know that they claim that the immigration authorities are the ones in charge, like any country.

I give you an example:

have AMERICANS forgotten that the former pop-singer -- CAT STEVENS -- after he became muslim and said unflattering things about his home country USA -- was NEVER AGAIN ALLOWED to have a visa to re-enter the United States?

democracy, huh? "open to all ideas and criticisms?" isn't that so?

so -- why are people so uppity about this event WHETHER or not it was immigration of dubai or the tournament that decided?

what rankles me is the double standards on what is "just" ..where western media fed folks swallow everything taht israel has said -- and the supposed causes - and then have their own stereotypes about different cultures -- AND , most critical of all, CONVENIENTLY forget or decline to learn the true EXTENT of the history of those people and WHY there is such a thing as an "immigration policy" against israelis (NOTE -- it is against ISRAELIS...not JEWS)

it just smacks of a willful "many levels" of justice application.

if it is the immigration of dubai that is in error , let us just say, for purposes of talking about "justice for all to travel"....(which we know NO country has that) ...

and people take offense at this injustice against peer ("because it mixes politics with sport" -- even IF politics AND sport have ALWAYS been mixed ..or else we WOULDN"T have international soccer games, olympics, etc...) -

then why are people suddenly unmindful of another thing:

that the palestinians are denied "visas" or "citizenship" or TREATMENT as citizens of equal rank and chances to prosper on THEIR OWN LAND which was stolen from them by giving them what are the equivalent -- according to an old Holocaust survivor in israel and another i met weeks ago --

the equivalent of the NAzi imposed "star of david?"

if people are incensed that dubai "stamps" and israeli as unacceptable...and jews were stamped with the "star of david" by nazis for being unacceptable.......

why are people turning their heads and averting their eyes away from the injustice of ISRAEL the Zionist State - having taken land from its natives anddestroyed their orchards and caused them to become refugees for generations -- where - again - as that old jewish holocaust survivor told me some weeks ago :

"israel is now applying what the nazis did...creating its own holocaust upon the palestinians...we have become the Nazis of our times and turned the palestinians into our "jews"?

or are people so comfortable with the continuing propaganda of israel as the "perpetual victim" and already blinding themselves to what it has BECOME -- the VICTIMIZER?

for FEAR of being accused of Antisemitism...the ALL PURPOSE strategy and tactic of the ZIONISTS...and against this POWER of accusation -- even the ENTIRE political system of the United STates of America COWERS iN FEAR OF?

where its own current president -- MADE SURE in the campaign that he GENUFLECTED in the TEMPLE of AIPAC -- American/Israeli Political Action Committe that EGGED ON the USA to ILLEGALLY invade Iraq and NOW also IRAN and THEN afghanistan and Pakistan .....

and CREATE a TERRIBLE ARMAGEDDON in the middle east that will - if they don't stop it -- or ARE stopped by the REAL inhabitants of those regions where they have NO business trying to lord it over those inhabitants --

it could explode into a GLOBAL war of such terrifying dimensions?>

adn WHERE did it all START?

as Winston Churchill observed -- no Saint he --

"IT IS quite fascinating and amazing such a TINY country , israel could cause SO MUCH trouble in this world".

and WHY?

because they have created a MYTH for themselves that they are "the chosen people" -- complete with bible, "god said so" blah , blah blah,.,

NO DIFFERENT from the way the NAZIS created a MYTH of "aryan superiority"!!

NO different from teh MYTH and HUBRIST of "american supremacy and exceptionalism".

Graf_sampras said...

are people , for example aware that the organization branded as "terrorist" by the USA and ISRAEL -- HAMAS -- which was elected democratically by the palestinians as the only OTHER viable choice against FATAH which had beceom SO CORRUPT and collaborated with Israel --

that HAMAS was actuallY CReATED BY ISRAEL ITSELF ? in order to defeat ARafat's THEN fatah?

but that the new leadership evolved to become the social workers to palestinians after YET another BOMBING and bulldozing by israel over the many decades now?

but what DID the USA and ISRAEL DO when HAMAS WON the election -- as THE USA and ISRAEL INSISTED should be done "democratically" while RIGGING the elections to favor Fatah in the outcome? and STILL the palestinians chose the group that they felt REALLY stood up for them against israel's subjugation?

why ....the USA an ISRAEL -- conveniently enough -- declared the election NULL AND VOID!!! and proceeded to make "economic sanctions" - israel disrupted the paychecks of palestinians ordinary people that israel always holds .....

nice kind of "justice" isn't it folks?>

perhaps RODDICK, if he is part jewish might want to know a BIT MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY and MYTHS of his own people?

and REALLYK learn how ISRAEL -- from where PEER comes from JUST STOLE LAND from the people it now oppresses? and was ITSELF built BY TERRORISTS like David ben Gurion and the Stern Gang?

wouldn't THAT be some tragic comedy to know if roddick CARED SO MUCH abotu "justice?"

Graf_sampras said...

there is actually a kind of lurid joke among certain historical or intellectual circles that are not exactly "american view" oriented..but more from the standpoint of "looking from the outside".....


today it is of course repeatedly expressed as "OUR SPECIAL PARTNERSHIP WITH ISRAEL" as if they are TWINS and that this was supposed to be such a NATURAL thing--

as if the INTERESTS of israel and the USA are one and the same...of course regularly at israel's bidding - at least in terms of the middle east, central asia, and even towards europe - and even south america..and the USA THINKS it is SO smart and BIG that it is "in control of everything" when in reality -- its congress, its presidency, their cabinets, their wall-street folks, their military capability

SERVES ISRAEL"S WHIMS and caprices time and time is so comical , actually, if it was not already so damaging to everything it touches...

Israel after all -- is the "WARRIOR STATE" that supposedly created itself and "DEFENDS" itself against arabs and enemies that want to "destroy israel" (while actually itself having the agenda of being the LORD of the Middle East)

in the same way that the USA considers itself the LORD of the UNIVERSE that "others hate because of our freedom" when in REALITY

it is BECAUASE it tries to dominate in regions it has NO business trying to dominate.

has anyone noted why they are TWINS? and some intellects across the globe have that running joke?

Graf_sampras said...

ISRAEL after all has this mythical "WARRIOR STATE" glory it wraps aroound itself :

"military efficiency...subterfuge, cleverness, lightning speed, etc. etc. etc."

and the USA is NOTHING if not SUCH a FAN of WAR and

and coffins of soliders draped in flags, and monuments to killing and death and devastation -- calling them
when in fact -- they are

as historians , philosophers - even as far back as socrates have always known as

"NOTHING MORE than PILLAGE AND THEFT of other people's riches and treasure..but they are always announced as liberation".

so why would it be surprising that the BIG nation USA - which has demonstrably shown itself to be SUCH a FAN of violence and militarism with all its parades of WAR and VICTORY and its over 200 military expeditions - NONE Of which resulted in democracy instigated from teh USA but actally waged in ORDER to install oppressive regimes (only south korea became a democracy and AGAINST the wishes of teh USA - and the koreans installed it themselves by deposing the dictator park chung hee-- the favorite of the USA) ?

i mean....why would it be surprising in this "duet" of big bro and li'l bro?

they LOVE WAR.

it's NOT the "terrorists" nor the syrians, nor the iranians (*who havent' invaded ANY country for the last 500 hundred years, lol)

it's actually



THEY"re the ones that went far beyond their shores or borders and went adventuring to "slay dragons" elsewhere (as madison would say) and then keep the SPOILS

as socrates would say....

in other words -- it is NONE OTHER than the USA and ISRAEL that are the greatest "pureyors of violence in the world"




Graf_sampras said...

and by the way . NEVERMIND even MY rantings...

woudl ANYONE HERE dare to CONTRADICT the Great Soul Dr Martin Luther King, JR?



and its SPECIAL "friend" in that game in the middle east goes by the name of ZION. .......

HoiHa said...

Helen W, Craig and Rabbit - thanks so much for your kind comments - you made my day!!

Graf_sampras, I respect your passion. While I disagree with you, I also know that the world is a far worse place when people stop caring about what happens among us.

Graf_sampras said...


i appreciate your understanding my way of stating things.

it's just that certain things, when they clash - such as what i think is concerning tennis, politics, and a wider reality ...i get "exercised" about it...i just hate the fact that there is so much unnecessary suffering all around...and i simply had to state my point of view about how , imo, it's not right to try and "isolate" the issue around Peer from what is happening - also an injustice - from where she comes from and where the issue of injustice towards her gathering such sympathy serves, in its own way, to "separate" the "other" issue of a tragic reality for a certain group of people HER own country oppresses.

I don't like it when people gather in sympathy for someone but , being part of that crowd to offer sympathy -- they think it is a "distraction" or has nothing to do with, or "should not" be in the conversation -- that the very fact of their 'attending to' the "injured party" -- Peer -- averts their own eyes to an even greater injustice...

everyone feels GOOD about empathizing with her.....but intentionally or not....the "other injustice" SHE represents or her country represents --

is swept under the rug or as if it doesn't exist because "this is about justice in tennis".

before there is justice ANYTHING in tennis ..there is FIRST justice in human reality.

before she is a tennis player...she is FIRST a person who comes from a country that is oppressive -- and HAS been defined by Holocaust survivors themselves - jews like HER - as a state that has "BECOME NAZI germany".

yes -- the world is full of injustices - one can not pay attention to them all, nor even imagine them all being corrected....

but ALL THE MORE REASON that when an injustice against someone such as PEER elicits such sympathy and controversy, and especially with "circle the wagons" kind of support for her (which is CORRECT, i must emphasize) --

in itself -- coming from those that give this sympathy and support -- it becomes , intended or not, an "exit clause" - a way of avoiding THAT to which she IS connected for exactly this instance against her participation:

the injustice her own state imposes on an entire people....not just ONE tennis player in a tennis tournament.

so -- now that tournament is over. someone has won...checks are paid..trophies distributed...players, supporters, officials alike express their opinions . etc. etc. etc.

and SHAHAR PEER the Tennis Player becomes the celebrity for having been
martyred in dubai -- she was "crucified by unjust Dubai for being israeli"........

but what IS and WAS missing is : HER COUNTRY has MARTYRED tens upon tens of thousands of palestinians -- because they were Palestinians -- just like SHE was denied a tennis tournament because she is Israeli.

and so -- she goes HOME to a POWERFUL state -- that not only stole that land - and just as the controvery over her was happening - actually EXTENDED its illegal settlements into MORE palestinian land - which is the PRECISE REASON why arabs do not like israelis .....

and so she goes home -- rests her feet, relaxes a bit to gather her energy to face the media, be the celebrated "heroic israeli woman who was crucified yet showed so much dignity".....

so that she can get up again and PRACTICE her shots and her running and check her pulse and her endurance ....on her way to the next tournament and UP her WTA precious points in ranking so she can have a GOOD DRAW and possibly win a Grand Slam................

and so on and on it goes with every ISRAELI JEW --

while for THEIR LIVES's sakes of PROSPERITY and what THEY call "security in a sea of enemies" ....

THEY PRACTICE the THINGS that give REASON for WHY they have enemies......

the OPPRESSION of people from WHOM they STOLE LAND and FUTURES ......

from whom we don't see after 60 years of the modern state of israel's existence -- a SINGLE


and in HIS or HER place --

from the LAND or region we call PALESTINE.........

the prosperous , powerful state of israel -- with its HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of dollars of western and especially AMERICAN support for its "warrior state" -- to "secure the land" IT STOLE for its creation --

we have a tennis player called SHAHAR PEER.....

alternately known as SARGEANT SHAHAR PEER of the ZIONIST STATE OF ISRAEL..the state that had just TIGHTENED the GARRISON and concentration camp they call order to shower it with American FUNDED "phosphorous bombs"

shining like Christmas lights in the land of JESUS CHRIST -- the "hero" of the USA.

do not people see the supreme irony of what they speak of? or choose to .......put on the corner?......

Graf_sampras said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Graf_sampras said...

i would even dare to make an analogy, difficult as it might seem to see:

In the "land of justice" -- where people are concerned about giving justice or fighting injustice:

the concern for justice for Peer as a Tennis Player - according to the rules of WTA , mind you --

is like looking for justice for the Honchos in Wall Street and the "leaders of industry" that schemed and planned and , otherwise, one way or another, took part in
creating and maintaining and enhancing the conditions out of which they advantaged themselves in which millions upon millions of lives and futures are DESTROYED all over the planet. and they are to be "saved" by "bailing out the system" as an excuse (not that the system ITSELF should have collapsed long ago or never even come into existence to begin with as the implosion was INEVITABLE by its very nature of injustice packaged as "economics") and because they are "too big to fail" or their "brains are too brilliant not to be saved".....(even if they actually turn out to be just as BAD as if one gave the "leadership and direction of the economy" to a DOG with Rabis...

(lord -- they coulda paid any of US a pittance in comparison just to make the STUPID decisions like Chairman Alan Greenspan the "oracle of wall street" made laying the foundation for the economic

and why? because these individuals - families, groups, corporations, whatever....

were convinced that they 'deserve the best'.....even at the expense of the many ...or precisely , if necessary, AT THE EXPENSE of the many.

after all -- everyone KNOWS by now -- that is EXACTLY what the american style of "doing business" is...isn't it?

so -- exactly how DISTANT is that from Israel securing, first, its "statehood" and then maintaining its prosperity?

it's done at the expense of the many for the sake of a few....and in all its tawdry sophistication posing as "civilization" and "order"...... is nothing less than enslavement of people.

and that is wrong.

Graf_sampras said...

theologian Reinhold Niebuhr] wrote, 'social orders will probably destroy themselves in the effort to prove that they are indestructible.'"

something to think about if you are a citizen of the Empire -- USA...or a supporter of the "little empire" ZION.

Graf_sampras said...

or -- as President Eisenhower warned:

"my fellow americans, as i leave the office of the presidency..allow me to give you a warning..:

beware of the undue influence of the Military/Industrial/Corporate/congressional complex....lest we lose our liberties....for we shall surely bankrupt ourselves in the quest for absolute security".

Graf_sampras said...

now - folks -- find the connection between these statements and Israel , shahar peer, oil, dubai, iraq, surge in afghanistan...collapsing banks...12.5 Trillion Dollars debt..."promoting financial liquidity" through printing "wealth" out of thin air...capitalism trying to save itself through "lemon socialism"....and US "victory".......

you surely shall if you try hard enough.

and you could be AMAZED at how it is already happening ....EXACTLY what Benjamin franklin Predicted:

"this nation shall fall...not because of foreign enemies or threats....real or imagined...but because the people are corrupt".