Israeli Tennis StarTarget Of Anti-Israel Protests
by MainStreet, Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 10:55:31 AM EST
There has always been controversy over whether culture, academia, and sports should ever be included in boycott and protest campaigns, this one against Israel's occupation, its ongoing colonization all the Palestinian territories, and the Apartheid situation that has resulted. The inhumane (Jimmy Carter) siege of Gaza also continues just one year after Israel's brutal attack on Gaza in which 1,400 mostly civilian residents, including over 300 children, died.
In this case, the protest/boycott is against the participation of a former female Israeli soldier and military employee, Shahar Peer, in the Australian Open.
"(Shahar Peer) who did mandatory military service when she was 19 and has worked as a secretary for the Israeli military, has been targeted for protests aimed at Israel and its military for human rights abuses against Palestinians.
Last year it was hardly shocking when the United Arab Emirates, in the wake of conflict in Gaza, denied Peer a visa to play in a major tournament in Dubai. (Peer says she already has a visa for this year's Dubai event.) It is a little strange, however, to see raucous peace protesters heckle her at every match during a recent tournament in New Zealand.
While anti-Israel protesters showed up at the same tournament in Auckland last year, this time they escalated their rhetoric as well as the demands made on the young Israeli player. They demanded that she withdraw from the event as a public demonstration of her "commitment to peace." And they called for an international sports boycott aimed at Israel."