Thursday, February 19, 2009

Face Of The Day


A picture taken on February 20, 2008 shows Israel's Shahar Pe'er during her tennis match against France's Virginie Razzano on the third day of the Qatar Open WTA tournament in Doha. The future of the Dubai Open may be at risk after Peer was prevented from competing in the event which started on February 15, 2009. The world number 48 from Israel has been denied a visa into the Gulf state, bringing a strongly worded statement from the Women's Tennis Association. The blocking is a surprise because Pe'er was given a visa to play in the Qatar Open last year, a visit which was a considerable success both in tennis and diplomatic terms.


In her own words:

I welcome the decision just announced by the United Arab Emirates and the Dubai tournament to reverse a stance that until now has prevented Israeli athletes from competing in the UAE. This is a great victory for the principle that all athletes should be treated equally and without discrimination, regardless of gender, religion, race or nationality. It is also a victory for sport as a whole, and the power of sport to bring people together.

It is still very unfortunate that due to the decision of the Dubai tournament and the UAE, I could not participate in the tournament this year. This has hurt me significantly both personally and professionally. However I am very happy for Andy Ram, who will be able to compete next week in Dubai. I hope and believe that from this day forward, athletes from all over the world will be able to compete in the UAE and anywhere else in the world without discrimination of any kind. I personally look forward to competing in Dubai next year.

This has been a very difficult period for me, and I want to thank the many thousands of fans and organizations all over the world that made this breakthrough possible, including the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and my fellow players. All of them have supported me these past days, weeks and months. It is truly humbling and also inspiring to know how many of us feel strongly and are willing to do all that we can to break down barriers of discrimination.


MMT said...

From Yahoo:

“It’s been a very painful experience for Shahar and beyond comprehension we had to go through what we went through the last week, and that a player had to suffer this way to cause the tournament and the UAE government to change its policy.

“It demonstrates this was in their control last week as well.”

So, clearly this is was not some standing policy they couldn't control. What a shame it had to come to this.

Graf_sampras said...

well...i have a response to the citing of UAE changing things as proof "this is something NOT beyond their control"...and that they did no have to deny Peer her visa (and i agree they were in control...after all..they let her play last year and ram might play, etc.)....

but then -- there is ALWAYS another side to the story which is BIGGER than just denying Peer her visa..and BIGGEr than Tennis..

it is :

ISRAEL has ALL of Gaza and palestinians "under its control" -- which is a sympathetic way of saying :"UNDER THEIR NAZI-like BOOTS" control..

ISRAEL had under its control the ability to NOT shower gazans with now-proven and admitted by israel (after denials) - PHOSPHOROUS bombs which are illegal (as if war is legal - it was israel's choice to NOT use collective punishment - where the price for palestinians is 100 lives for ONE PRECIOUS israeli...

it has been "under the control" Of Zionists NOT to steal land which did not belong to them...

it has been under the control of ISRAEL NOT to build NUCLEAR bombs and HIDE them even if everyone in the world knows they have at least 80 of them -- and then POINT fingers at others and DEMAND that OTHERS "disarm" -- so that israel can be FREE to BOMB them to submission without "molestation" .....

people are making much of this - as the political statement that it IS - so long as it shows up Peer as some kind of "martyr" to "tennis" due to the "evil" dubai ......

and then conveniently shy away from the egregious CRIMES of israel against an ENTIRE people....where Peer HERSELF serves THAT purpose of her Zionist State's oppression of people the israelis consider worht less than cockroaches -- which israelis actuallY DO call them THAT to justify their dehumanization .

Graf_sampras said...

i am pasting this about what i read from a Holocaust Survivor - who is in his old age in israel...and add something else i recall he said when i read it weeks ago:


a HOLOCAUST VICTIM said ( i think he is still alive in israel ) ---

":whenever i walk the streets and hear jews say of palestinians :"cockroaches" -- i hear the Nazis calling us names in the ghettos...whenever i see the checkpoints and the poverty-stricken palestinians so humiliated ....i remember the lines we had to go through in the ghettos fact - we probably lived BETTER in our jewish ghettos than these palestinians do today under OUR policies...for in our ghettos the nazis still allowed us our domestic thrive...the palestinians have been denied EVERYTHING by our state of israel..whenever i see the palestinians wearing their identifications ...i am reminded of the Star of David we were made to wear by the Nazis......WE have become the Germans towards the Palestinians.......and i am ashamed of it".

Thu Feb 19, 10:55:00 PM

Graf_sampras said...

I will further add -- that just weeks ago -- while Israel was bombing Gaza indiscriminately -- and even preventing the world press from finding out exactly what the results were in the deaths, maiming and terror -- (imagine that -- a STATE that accuses rag-tag bands of "terrorists" fighting for their stolen land out of desperation after decades of their actual willingness to make concessions only to be rebuffed again and again by israel in order to continue israel's act of "victimhood") -- while ITSELF practicing for all the world to see "legal state terror"...

just weeks ago i was speaking with a Holocaust survivor. also a jew ...who related to me how he was chained, his fingers burned by the nazis with -- you guessed it -- PHOSPHOROUS , the very same agent israel has now created into "efficient bombs" from the air -- as a teenager...and as he spoke to me -- his tears started to flow -- NOT at what he experienced and survived in the holocaust but

"at what ISRAEL IS DOING to palestinians...they are now what the nazis were to US ...and the USA has become their greatest enabler..they have used our suffering as a justification to inflict suffering upon others"...

he was literally shaking. and gasping in with his oxyen to his nose in his wheelchair , so thin, and yet with such a sharp mind... as he told me these things...

Graf_sampras said...

and -- if people say:

"it's been a very painful experience for Shahar..." because she was EXCLUDED FROM A GAME OF TENNIS.......

and people are going gag over this because of the "rules of tennis" ...

and because her painful experience was imposed on her by DUBAI because she is israeli....

are people wondering AT ALL about the PAINFUL EXPERIENCES of the palestinians under the BOOTS of the STATE OF ISRAEL everytime SHAHAR PEER goes home to SERVE in her capacity as a SOLDIER and not a tennis player?.

are we talking here about TWO different people or what? ............Shahar the TENNIS player isn't the SAME shahar peer the SOLDIER of ZION? gimme a break!

people need to reconcile the clearly antagonistic logics going on in their minds .

MMT said...

There is a huge disconnect here - the problem with the denial of Peer's visa is not political, it is a question of rules. Dubai agreed to host a WTA event, and to abide by the WTA rules, and they neglected that obligation.

That they did so for political reasons is only relevant in that the rules of the WTA do not allow for such considerations, and as such is in violation of WTA rules.

We can argue the merits on either side of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in another forum, but that has nothing to do with the reason the UAE was wrong in denying Peer a visa to play in Dubai. That is purely a question of an obligation they agreed to and didn't meet.

Of course there are a lot of reasons why they have done it, and those can be argued separately, but it is plain that they had no right to renege on their obligations to Peer as part of their committment to host the WTA event in Dubai.

How could the WTA or the ATP function if all events in countries who felt they had a reason to discriminate, did so?

Zagreb banning Serbs? Belgrade banning Croats? Cassablanca banning French players? Anyone with a problem with the US banning Americans? The tour couldn't function because the potential unfair treatment of players would be endless.

Is that the kind of professional tennis you want?

Graf_sampras said...

actually there is no disconnect between the matter on "rules" on shahar Peer and the "rules" of justice.

if the WTA has RULES about "equality" - there are "rules" about human equality....on which the "rules" of equality that the WTA is founded on DEPEND .

in fact -- the "rules" cited about WTA is an example of using "rules" as an excuse to AVOID the CONNECTION between WHY such "rules" about equality as cited by WTA FOR the sake of PEER and the "rules" however they are defined -- and Billie Jean King OUGHT to be the first person to know WHY WTA has rules about equality ad justice BECAUSE they ARE a part of HUMAN justice and equality.

it is as BAD as DUBAI saying "these are our immigration rules...she is israeli and therefore cannot be allowed".....

where they ignore, incorrectly, the "rules of equality in WTA"....and now must pay...

EVEN IF the OBVIOUS reason -- peer's BEING israeli -- is because of what SHE represents as israeli --

in the "rules of equality and justice" DENIED to palestinians.

no -- there is no disconnect.

on the contrary -- this exposes the DOUBLE standards using RULES as a way to hide from the LARGER issue of

*justice an equality for human beings*


Graf_sampras said...

i would add another DISCONNECT:

it is ironic in fact:

where a JEWISH saying goes, because of the holocaust:

"AN injustice against ONE is an injustice against ALL"......

and where the WTA -- for its stand on justice and equality for women and players "everywhere" -- so that there be no injustice against one so that there will be no injustice against ALL, were one to remember the JEWISH saying -- speaks of justice for a player , for israeli Peer , for "one" : it , in speaking about JUSTICE and equality

seems to have forgotten that PEER as the person for whom they stand for "justice for one so all may have justice" - according to their rules,

STANDS for INJUSTICE for palestinians!

one may not speak of justice for SOME while speaking of a principle which is ABOUT justice for ALL human beings ....

while not speaking of justice for OTHERS, namely the people Peer's STATE renders great injustice to!

the WTA can not PRETEND to be standing for "justice and equality" in the WTA according to its rules -- which DERIVE from the principles of justice for ALL --

and then speak up FOR justice "for one" -- peer --

but remain SILENT about what PEER's citizenship REFLECTS that allows HER to be a tennis player :

the injustice HER own state places on "others". \

the WTA wants to talk about JUSTICE?

they are RIGHT in standing up FOR PEER against DUBAI - in order to TELL dubai and the world -- "do not do this injustice against ONE because it is an injustice against us ALL" -- to borrow the Jewish saying ITSELF,

but they are WRONG in standing up for "JUSTICE"

while DISCONNECTING IT from where JUSTICE in the WTA DERIVES;;;;

"justice for ALL"

meaning the JUSTICE for Palestinians!

Graf_sampras said...

here is a simple question:

it is clear that DUBAI was unjust against a player ...and it is clear that her having an israeli passport is part of it according to the reasons for which DUBAI does not recognize that passport ....those are based on the political events concerning how israel CAME to be -- by the theft of land, AN INJUSTICE in itself -

and yet the question arises:

where DUBAI has to "pay" for the injustice against Peer....where dubai as a POLITICAL entity has to pay for its positions abotu israel and therefore and israeli TENNIS player ...and where WTA steps IN on a POLITICAL affair in essence - and in fact - its very stepping in and citing its rules of Justice IS a political reality and statement.....

DOES ISRAEL -- a Political entity as Dubai IS --

made to PAY for ITS injustices?

there is a disconnect there........and people use the citing of "rules" as a way to AVOID the CONNECTIONS between the rendering of justice for ONE


Graf_sampras said...

in other words:

following the Jewish saying about the holocaust:

"An Injustice against one is an injustice against All"........

this is a case of turning THAT on its head:


"a JUSTICE for ONE does NOT have to be Justice for ALL".

it is a case of "we are all equal --- EXCEPT for SOME who are below us".

Graf_sampras said...

i hasten to add - especially in response to MMT -- that I am WITH all of you about the injustice against peer that had to be corrected and cited.

but what I am trying to do is --- bring up the reality , no matter how much people wish it otherwise to be "distinct" issues of WTA "rules and justice it stands for in tennis" FROM issues of what Peer IS -in her every fibre and reality INDEED a representation of INJUSTICE against a PEOPLE.

in other words:

if the WTA can READILY stand up for "JUSTICE" for one of its members, CORRECTLY so, it is not speaking ONLY for "its members" but speaking BECAUSE of JUSTICE.

in fact -- that IS the very ESSENCE of speaking up for ONE so that it can speak up for ALL -- meaning:

women, players, human beings.

and if it can use its power and influence to speak of an injustice for one -- it OUGHT to be able to USE that SAME privilege - regardless of being WTA "in tennis" - to speak for JUSTICE ITSELF!! -- which MEANS --

for ALL, which means : INCLUSIVE of OTHERS whom Peer's State DOES NOT INCLUDE in the application of justice.

i am talking here about PRINCIPLES.

it is NOT enough to take a podium, regardless of WHICH podium it is.... and speak of "justice" UNLESS one speaks of justice FOR ALL.

so - MMT and others - i may TYPE in ways that sound so vehement but it is just because I feel so passionately about these things -- FOR SHAHAR and EVERY single individual - ESPECIALLY those that are FORGOTTEN and for whom "justice" comes ALWAYS - or much too often -- TOO LATE.....

like the WOMEN among palestinians who receive injustice NOT because they are women (and for whom they have in their religion and culture their own ways of balancing justice between "men and women" and they have their own ways to evolve -- but BECAUSe they are PALESTINIANS!

it just breaks my heart - as much for an individual like Shahar whom i like very very much -- and wish her always the best and hopefully BECAUSE it is BEYOND her being it breaks one's heart for entire populations - - who comprise INDIVIDUALS also..women, old, men, children ....each of them -- like shahar and everyone one of us --

with as much "rights" to be full human beings according to how their own cultures evolving allow and they accept -- BUT NOT denied it because ANOTHER culture denies it to them.

and this is what is happening in this balancing of "justice for a woman player . regardless of nationality..."

against INJUSTICE for an entire people imposed by the people of Peer.

as that old jewish gentleman who survived the holocaust told me a few weeks ago -- as he was watching reports of the assault in gaza by israel as collective punishment - boastfully even -- by israel in return for one israeli life -- "TO SHOW these palestinians"

who is BOSS...

(this is like if a man "looked" at the woman of another man -- the other man KILLS the man that looked as payment, for DARING to act LIKE a man also ) ...

- as he told me, shaking and crying in his wheelchair and through his oxygen tube:

"HOW CAN THIS BE? HOW can we, israel have become what we feared? and BECOME the Nazis to turn palestinians into our own victims? THIS IS a holocaust --- and I NEVER imagined that i would survive the holocaust to see my own people PRACTICE IT..and the USA is PART of it...and I can not say how my sadness now is DOUBLED because I will die knowing that my own people have become the very monsters we fear".