Reports, reviews, interviews and columns

OPINION: Dive into the deep end of antisemitism

Be shocked by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s wicked ban on disabled Israeli swimmers at the World Para Swimming Championships in his country, but not surprised.

Zealots of his ilk are turning Muslim antisemitism across Asia and the Middle East into an epidemic, poisoning everything from politics to sport. Even the Miss World contest is not immune.

“We maintain our stand on the prohibition,” the execrable antisemite, who famously called Jews “hook-nosed” on BBC’s HARDtalk, lectured this week. “If they (the Israelis) come, it is a violation. If the International Paralympic Committee wants to withdraw Malaysia’s right to host the championship, they can do so.”

The silence surrounding Malaysia’s racism is almost as sickening. Where is the outrage? Where is the condemnation? Where are the boycott threats among the 70 countries sending swimmers?

A paltry 1,600 people, one imagines virtually all appalled UK Jews, have signed an online petition demanding the country reverses its decision.

Meanwhile, Mohamad is being welcomed this week here in the UK with open arms on a four-day visit, which includes an invitation to speak in Oxford University’s famous debating chamber on Friday 18 January.

Asked to comment on the ban, the British Paralympic Association trod water: “We hope the situation is resolved so all eligible athletes will be able to compete at the event later this summer.”

Morality rarely talks, but money always does. It’s incumbent on World Para Swimming Championships’ sponsors Visa and BP to take a stand and refuse to let their brands be allied with bigotry.

The silence surrounding this affront is obscene.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About Me

Newspaper editor and publisher with 30-years’ experience at national and local titles in the UK and USA including the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and Jewish Advocate. Editor of Jewish News (Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year 2021/22) since 2009. Columnist for The Times, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, Independent and others.


%d bloggers like this: