If you think Israel is an “apartheid state,” then what is Tunisia? For that country has just banned a 7 year old schoolgirl and chess champion, Liel Levitan, from competing in an International Chess Championship (presumably the competition for juniors), because she’s Israeli. And her dream is to become a world champion.
“Just a few months ago, a World Chess Championship was due to take place in Saudi Arabia,” chess player Lior Aizenberg told Hadashot news. “It was clear to everyone that outstanding Israeli chess players would not be able to participate.”
Aizenberg has instead founded the World Alternative Championship, which takes place in Israel and extends competition invitations to players from across Europe and the Arab world.
Liel has also been invited to compete at the competition, which counts outgoing chairman of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky and American pro-Israel group Stand With Us among its supporters.
“The time has come to put an end to discrimination against Israelis in chess, in sports and in every field,” said Aizenberg.
The International Judo Federation on Friday stripped the United Arab Emirates and Tunisia from hosting two international tournaments due to their failure to guarantee equal treatment of Israeli athletes.
The decision to suspend the tournaments came after organizers at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Slam refused to acknowledge the nationality of the Israeli athletes — a policy directed only at Israeli participants.
Yep, the Saudis won’t allow Israeli athletes to compete on the adult level, either. What the hell is up with FIDE, the International Chess Federation? They shouldn’t allow any competitions in countries that ban players on the basis of their nationality. And the fact that Israel is hosting a World Alternative Championship open to all, regardless of nationality, shows the mendacity of those who call Israel an “apartheid state.” Can there be any explanation for such banning except anti-Semitism? Why aren’t Saudi players banned, since that country is far more oppressive than Israel? Can North Koreans play in Tunisia? Maybe there aren’t players from the DPRK, but I bet they’d be allowed to compete. It all stinks to high heaven.
— Tablet Magazine (@tabletmag) July 15, 2018
This is 7-year-old chess champ Liel Levitan. She has won the European chess♟️ champioship for kids last week but she can’t compete in the world chess championship that will be held in Tunisia. Why? She’s Israeli.
The Arab countries' racism towards Israel in sports must stop. pic.twitter.com/c5Bm7TXsKr
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) July 22, 2018