Talk about an unexpected backhand volley…
Not only is Dubai apparently letting an Israeli player take part in the men’s tournament there next week. It has turned to one of the most fervently and vocally pro-Israel lawmakers to do make the announcement:
Weiner Secures Commitment in Conversations with Ambassador
New York City – Representative Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn and Queens) released the following statement:
"Over the last several days I have had a series of conversations with Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba about the very troubling steps taken by the United Arab Emirates government to deny an Israeli tennis player a visa to play in the Dubai Tennis Championship."
"I made it clear that I felt this was a set back for a nation that had made commendable efforts to foster understanding and tolerance."
"Today Ambassador Al Otaiba informed me that as a result of our discussions Dubai would issue a visa for Andy Ram to participate in the Dubai Tennis Championship. This is good news."
"This situation was regrettable. Ms. Shahar Peer is a victim of politics over sportsmanship. But this story has a good ending, with an important lesson being learned on a very public stage. Even in times of conflict, sports should be a vehicle for celebrating our common ideals and not another device to divide us. Hopefully this is the last time that this lesson has to be taught. I commend the Ambassador for his understanding and desire to do the right thing. Now, let’s watch the players play."
If Dubai is willing to go this far this fast to defuse the bad P.R. in all this, it makes you wonder how and why the decision to deny an entry visa to Shahar Pe’er was made.