Malaysia de­nies Is­raeli par­a­lympic swim­mers’ en­try

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By MARCY OSTER

The In­ter­na­tional Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee said it was “dis­ap­pointed” that Malaysia will not al­low Is­raeli swim­mers to en­ter the coun­try to par­tic­i­pate in the World Cham­pi­onship event.

The event sched­uled from July 29 to Au­gust 4 is a qual­i­fy­ing event for the 2020 Par­a­lympics in Tokyo. Hun­dreds of swim­mers from 70 coun­tries are ex­pected to com­pete.

Prime Min­is­ter Ma­hathir Mo­hamad on Thurs­day said Malaysia would deny visas to Is­raeli swim­mers.

He chal­lenged the In­ter­na­tional Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee to sanc­tion the coun­try, say­ing “If they want to with­draw Malaysia’s right to host the cham­pi­onship, they can do so,” the AFP news ser­vice re­ported.

Malaysia diplo­matic does not have re­la­tions with Is­rael. En­try to Malaysia on an Is­raeli pass­port is pro­hib­ited.

The IPC said it would work to “find a so­lu­tion” for the Is­raeli swim­mers.

In July, the In­ter­na­tional Judo Fed­er­a­tion can­celed two in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ments – the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and the Tunis Grand Prix – “un­til gov­ern­men­tal guar­an­tee is given to en­sure free and equal par­tic­i­pa­tion of all na­tions at the said events.” Two months later, the United Arab Emi­rates agreed to the con­di­tions.

The de­ci­sion came after the pre­vi­ous year five Is­raeli ju­dokas won medals in Abu Dhabi but tour­na­ment or­ga­niz­ers re­fused to play Is­rael’s na­tional an­them. The Is­raeli com­peti­tors also were re­quired to wear the uni­form of the In­ter­na­tional Judo Fed­er­a­tion and re­ceived their medals un­der an IJF flag. (JTA)

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