by Timon Dias
The fact remains that a Dutch soccer player was excluded from a training camp on the sole basis that he is Jew with an Israeli passport.
Not only is the Dutch Foreign Ministry’s advice to “keep sports and politics separated as much as possible” bankrupt of any enforceable meaning; it conflicts with the Dutch Constitution, which states: “Discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex or any other grounds whatsoever shall not be permitted.”
The hypocritical – and, bluntly, racist – restrictions of these countries become even more conspicuous when contrasted to the double-standards they practice when events happen to suit some other interest. When doing business or cooperating on security with Israel or Israelis, these same EU and UAE rules do not apply.
When added to the new calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions, it seems appropriate to ask, is it not actually many Europeans, Arabs and Muslims who are the new Nazis?
While the rest of the Dutch Arnhem-based soccer club, Vitesse, attended a training camp in Abu Dhabi, the team left one of its Israeli-born defenders at home. Dan Mori, who was transferred from Tel Aviv’s Bnei Yehuda club in 2012, was not allowed to enter Abu Dhabi – so the club was told the day before departure – because he holds an Israeli passport.
Three things stand out: First, it appears that The Royal Netherlands Football Association [RNFA] initially wanted nothing to do with the incident and submitted to Abu Dhabi’s demand without a peep. This despite the fact that the RNFA, which is a member of FIFA and UEFA, demands strict compliance with ‘anti racism’ guidelines by Dutch soccer clubs if they wish to maintain their RNFA licenses. Second, the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry advised Vitesse “to keep sports and politics separated as much as possible.” Third, the Gulf states’ tendency to ban athletes from Israel is totally inconsistent with their relationship to Israel when it comes to security or business.
To further illustrate the RNFA’s non-compliance with both FIFA and UEFA’s anti-racism guidelines: After a Dutch amateur linesman was kicked to death by three teenage Dutch-Moroccan amateur soccer players last year, if you think the RNFA’s anger would be directed at the murderers, you would be wrong. Instead, in the wake of the killing, Hans van der Liet, former chairman of the Amsterdam Committee of Referees and a sympathizer with Geert Wilders’s Freedom Party, was formally askedto stop expressing his right to free speech on social media or else face a discharge. Van der Liet had written Facebook posts in which he playfully commented that, statistically, Dutch Moroccans are …read more