For all the controversy over the U.A.E.’s decision to deny an entry visa to Shahar Pe’er, ultimately Andy Ram’s appearance the following week went off without a hitch. So, judging from the rally/riot that greeted Ram and his Israeli teammates in Sweden, the real story is that an Israeli athlete is better off competing in Dubai than in the heart of Europe.
Ram wrote about the issue in a piece published on Ynet:
I have never seen the kind of security that we are receiving here; not even in Dubai, where I played a few weeks ago. At any given moment, we are surrounded by police vehicles, undercover police officers, and anti-terror forces. Every morning, they take us from the hotel to the stadium via another route, through an underground parking lot, with part of the ride being undertaken in armored vehicles.
The feelings within the Israel team are very grim. All the innocence that prompted us to play tennis has disappeared, and this match, which was supposed to be a beautiful moment of sports, has become completely worthless. Nothing here is reminiscent of the Davis Cup; what we have is a war atmosphere, tension, and the feeling that something very bad may happen at any moment.