Egyptian Taekwondo Player Refuses to Compete with Israeli
Egyptian Taekwondo champion Rawan Ali refused on Wednesday to play against her Israeli counterpart Sevan Fenster in the quartet final of the Croatian Open Taekwondo open tournament in the 47kg category, according to the Israeli website SPORT 1.
The website reported that when Ali was informed of her match again Fenster, she refused to compete and quit the tournament. The rules of the game give players the right to withdraw from the bout without having to provide any justification.
This is not the first time someone has refused to play against an Israeli. A match between an Iranian player and Israel’s Lern Melakhy also did not take place.
Palestinian civil society’s Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Campaign (BDS) believes that the promotion of Israel as a “fair player” through its participation in sporting teams and individual and international sporting events legitimizes the actions of Israel and the occupation of Palestine.
Over the last few months, Algerian and Tunisian players have also refused to compete with their Israeli opponents. On October 4, Algerian judoka Mariam Moussa refused to compete against Israel’s Shahar Levi in the knockout round of the Judo World Cup, compromising her chances for qualification for the 2012 London Olympics.
Last month, Tunisian fencer Besbas Azzah refused to face her Israeli counterpart Naomi Mills in the final match of the World Fencing Championships, citing her support for the Palestinian cause. Tunisia suspended relations with Israel in 2000 and Algeria has never recognized the country.