Israel, Israeli swimmers face discrimination at events in Arab countries


(JTA) — The Israeli flag was removed from outside the venue of the FINA Swimming World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

A tweet was posted Sunday complaining about the flag’s presence before it was taken down from outside the Aspire Zone, according to the Doha News.

The international tournament took place Sunday and Monday.

Last week in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates at another FINA Swimming World Cup event, the results of the Israeli swimmers were not shown poolside or on television broadcasts, the word Israel was not spoken and the Israeli flag appeared as a white block in the pool lanes as shown on television, Haaretz reported.

In Doha, Israeli swimmer Amit Ivry finished second in the 100-meter individual medley, winning a silver in 58.66 seconds, record time for an Israeli swimmer. In Dubai, she won a bronze medal in the 100-meter breaststroke, and all of the male Israeli swimmers made their final heats.
Israeli swimmer Gal Nevo said on his Facebook page that by the end of the Dubai competition, “we finally became the Israel team. For the very first time, our name is mentioned in Dubai. A small record has been broken.”

The FINA Code of Ethics states that tournaments must have “no discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, or political opinion.”

Qatar, long a supporter of the Palestinians, on Monday promised some $150 million in debt relief to the Palestinian Authority. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 World Cup, the first Arab state to host the premier soccer tournament.

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