Petty Apartheid at the Olympics

At this year’s Olympic games, Lebanese athletes prevented their Israeli counterparts from boarding a bus, an Egyptian judoka refused to shake hands with his Israeli opponent after a match, and a Saudi judoka canceled a fight with an Israeli. Such behavior, dictated by Arab and Muslim states, is hardly unprecedented. Employing “petty apartheid,” a phrase used in South Africa to refer to the more minor, everyday forms of racial persecution, Gerald Steinberg describes this scandalous and systematic shunning of the Jewish state, and the world’s indifference to it:

The so-called international community, including the Olympic Committee, has, at most, reprimanded the boycotting teams and athletes, [thus] becoming a willing accomplice to anti-Israel apartheid. In previous displays of [such] racism, no action was taken against the Syrian, Iranian, and Lebanese teams and no penalties exacted to create a deterrent or express opposition.

In these frameworks, as in the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, including the wealthy oil producers, control the agendas and have veto power over the officials. Similarly, the self-appointed guardians of human rights, including . . . Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, are silent when Israelis are the victims. . . .

In Lebanon, whose government and society is subject to intimidation by Hizballah, . . . the minister of youth and sport . . . praised [the team’s] actions in Rio as “principled and patriotic.” . . . As in the case of South Africa under the apartheid regime, contact with Israelis is treated as a form of impurity, and petty apartheid remains the norm.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, apartheid, Arab anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism, olympics, Sports

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict