Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Quote For The Day

"The United Arab Emirates' refusal to grant a visa to Shahar Peer and preventing her from competing at this week's Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in Dubai is shameful and definitely a step backwards. In the 21st century there is no reason a person should be restricted from doing his or her job because of their nationality, creed, race, gender or sexual orientation. Given the progress we have made in providing equal rights and opportunities for all, I trust the WTA Tour will look closely at the events in Dubai and take every step possible to ensure this type of distraction never happens again."--Billie Jean King

I wanted to know what she'd have to say. She didn't disappoint.


dearg said...

I'm glad she spoke out eventually, but the word "distraction" being used bothers me a lot.

A persons human rights being trampled cannot be called " a distraction".

Pamela said...

Good for her. It needed to be said and she did it quite eloquently. The WTA really dropped the ball on this one, no matter what happens in the future. This should never have come to pass. Allowing Ram to play doesn't make it up for it.

rabbit said...

dearg, as much as I sympathize for Shahar, the incident was not a human rights issue. Shahar is a professional athlete and she had the right to play as any athlete does. About human rights, there are much more severe cases demanding attention in Gaza.

b said...

Sweden- Israel Davis Cup update
Tickets will not be sold to fans - which I believe makes a statement in itself

Excert below - note that not everyone agrees with this minister....13/

"“Israel is an apartheid state. I think Gaza is comparable to the Warsaw ghetto,” said Ingalill Bjartén, the vice chair for the Social Democratic women’s organization (S-kvinnor) in Skåne in southern Sweden, to the Sydsvenskan newspaper.

“I’m surprised that Israel – where large numbers of the population suffered under the Nazis – can do the exact same things the Nazis did.”

The comments come as Bjartén and her counterparts from the Left Party have both called on Sweden to skip an upcoming Davis Cup tennis match against Israel, currently scheduled to take place in Malmö in early March.

The calls to boycott the Israel match have awakened memories of previous demonstrations in Sweden when its Davis Cup team was to meet Rhodesia in 1968.

At the time, Rhodesia was criticized for enforcing apartheid, and demonstrators from around the country descended on Båstad in southern Sweden to protest the match.

The match in Sweden was cancelled, but eventually played in France."

HoiHa said...

I lost a lifetime of respect for BJK when she came out in support of Justin Gimelstob - I no longer look to her as a voice for anybody's rights.

b said...

excerpt note that it is referring to columnist williams nnot the tennis family....
"But Williams seems unaware of -- or simply indifferent to -- the fact that the Palestinian football team, for example, is routinely denied permission by occupying forces to leave the Palestinian territories to compete in other countries, and is repeatedly denied the travel permits necessary to travel from one part of the occupied Palestinian territories to another to train. Yes, these travel permits are the same as those issued to indigenous Australians by their colonial-settler ``Protector'' and the same as those issued to black South Africans during that country's apartheid regime. Moreover, Williams seems unaware of -- or simply indifferent to -- the rights of Palestinian children to be, in the worlds of poet Michael Rosen at the January 10 rally for Gaza in London, "not dead".

If delegitimising the acts of internal and international aggression and racism that Israel, as a democratic country, has endorsed at the ballot box for decades -- most recently last week with a massive swing to the (even) far(ther) right -- means disrupting tennis or football business as usual, so be it. The sporting boycott of Israel is in the spirit of bans on South Africa during the apartheid regime, and bans on Yugoslavia during Milošević's genocidal years. However warped and chauvinist the political culture is, it is a democratic one capable of popular change from ordinary people. This is what makes a total boycott appropriate; a total boycott aims at making the cost of apartheid so heavy to the voters of Israel that the policy is abandoned, as in South Africa.

If even the hypocritical royal idiots who rule the UAE, combining the worst aspects of feudalism with the worst aspects of capitalism, can do this so can the rest of the world. Like these Swiss protesters in the picture above, or these Spanish protesters or these New Zealand protesters, including veterans of the anti-Springbok campaigns in the 1980s. As one reader commented on the Guardian site: "Squeeze Israel until it abandons its apartheid policies towards the Palestinians and accepts peaceful co-existence with them."

A necessary alternative and exception are joint Israeli-Palestinian teams, such as this Australian Rules football team -- ironically named (you'll laugh, I promise) the Shimon Peres Peace Team. These endeavours are signs of what will be an inevitable process of reconciliation between the coloniser and the colonised, and thus potentially more important than even the marching together of North and South Korea at recent Olympic games. I think it's fitting that Aussie rules is helping to do this, with the sport being a hybrid of indigenous and colonial-settler sports and cultures (in the Koori game of marn grook, there was no scoring, for example, winners were chosen by consensus) and having fought its own battles over racism."

Craig Hickman said...

HoiHa can you direct BJK's support for Justin Gimelstob?

(Even still, I won't throw the baby out with the bath water. I thought she might not say anything about this at all, but she did, so....)

Craig Hickman said...


Thanks for those links. I may frontpage them at the time of the Davis Cup ties.

HoiHa said...

Hi Craig - perhaps "support" was too strong a word (?) but I refer to BJK's WTT arguing (and imposing) a one game suspension was suficient over Gimelstob's anti women radio diatribe - the irony of the whole affair for me was that Sports Illustrated, home of the Swimsuit Issue, took the matter more seriously and fired him as part of their tennis commentary.

I was so upset by the whole thing that I actually wrote an email to the WTT's marketing department.

For me the one game (what's that, an hour?) suspension was more insulting than if they had decided not to do anything at all. It trivialized the entire matter as not really worthy of any action.

If interested see BJK's, the WTT's and Gimelstob's press releases here:

Craig Hickman said...

Thanks, HoiHa. I'll check it out.

Helen W said...

HoiHa, thanks for posting the info about Gimelstob's "punishment" -- a one-match suspension. I found his remarks so offensive: beyond being anti-woman in a disgustingly chauveninistic way, they were so nasty and hurtful. I have not seen anything like an expression of regret for them that would make me think anything other than that he is a nasty piece of work.

Craig Hickman said...

TC let him keep his job.

His tone of voice is nasty.

If it looks like a duck...

b said...

HoiHa I still can't understand BJK's stance on that matter. What Gimelstob said was unbelievable - and it was not the first time and she knows it.... I called TC and left a message of complaint - not something I usually do. Further, his apology was not really an apology.

Most welcome Craig.

b said...

I didn't see your link so maybe it talks about this.....
Also remember BJK runs the WTT franchise and the upcoming match that Gimelstob was promoting that prompted the vile comments..... Was he suspended for even that game (let alone the whole WTT season) - NO! I found that so strange.

Had I been Anna K I don't know if I would have showed up to play that day after someone who had threatened bodily injury (among other things) was still allowed to play.... and Serena, I believe (correct me if wrong) partnered him in that match - although she was also quite vocal about denouncing his statements to the press.

He's been nasty about Serena to the press and she gave him his only Grand Slam.... (in 90s I think)

Do you guys think her motive for backing off is money or something else?

Graf_sampras said...

b mentioned something about serena not voicing more support for the WTA and Peer and electing to play in dubai.

it seems it is pointed out that serena is supposedly being "unfeeling" towards PEER?

well -- another view can be made...electing to PLAY and not voicing support (by players) FOR peer - is also a form of quiet protest against THAT which people SHOULD be protesting against --

which is the STate of Israel's policies towards palestinians.

if the WTA somehow tells the DUBAI folks -- "you are no longer allowed as a tournament ..(but we'll take your money as an implied in the Pam Shriver statement)"...

what does THAT say about the so righteous WTA , BILLIE JEAN KING and all their supposed "concern for justice?".....

furthermore -- why is the question about the validity of protests, quietly , by inaction, or action , or through political maneuverings, or other means against the Apartheidt policies of ISRAEL less of a legitimate issue in a discussion surrounding PEER in which "protests and boycotts" AGAINST dubai are somehow

righteous in the current state of this particular event?

why is that -- when there is an ONGOING and DAILY application -- which is the NORM - of Israel in injustices towards others?.

are people , like billie jean king and those that ":support her" saying that

one suspends BELIEF at the double standards because PEER has been "unjustly" treated by DUBAI --- while they talk as if they are not even AWARE that there is something FAR FAR MORE HORRIFIC and morally egregious that ISRAEL has practiced for DECADES?

one begins to ask : WHERE do people REALLY put their consciences? do they just take them out according to when it is convenient? as if it's some family heirloom to put on display when the "cause" is glamorous enough :


i have NO doubt that were they alive today:

Mister Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. MArtin LUther King, Jr. would be railing against the same things they railed against:

"THE MADNESS OF MILITARISM" practiced most especially and COULD ONLY be instigated as an "arms race" BY powerful states SUCH as the USA and ISRAEL -- to the "exclusion" of all others who , because of the OPPESSION visited upon them by such MILITARISTIC POWERS resort to violence and other desperate acts which ARE the acts of those that are ":weaker" -- and the POWER states such as the USA and ISRAEL call THEM "terrorists"


is that which comes from the STATE TERRORISTS such as the USA and ISRAEL!

i have NO doubts that Dr King and Mahatma Gandhi - along with Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu would CONDEMN these practices today....

and find the "outrage" fanned BY israel at PEEr's "exclusion" while Israel EXCLUDES palestinians, calls them "terrorists" for fighting back in their desperation, and USES ITS STATE TERROR Aided and Abetted BY the Greatest STATE TERRORIST of them all -- it's big brother USA!

i am CERTAIN of this.

those great men of peace would CONDEMN them and everyone that supports this kind of "outrage".

as Dr Martin Luther King, Jr said:

"I MUST with great shame and sadness state that the greatest purveyor of Violence in the world today -- is my own government and country -- has its MILITARY MADNESS".

and happily does its COUNTERPART in the middle east - STATE TERRORIST ISRAEL keep wagging the USA to its tune....

including HOW to FEEL "outrage"..and "for whom".

while practicing an outrageous version of "ITS OWN APARTHEID" the footsteps of its own "Nazi oppressors of jews".

in short -- as 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..and i am ashamed of it".