New York, NY, October 25, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the International Judo Federation’s (IJF) demand that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) treat Israeli athletes competing at an upcoming judo competition in Abu Dhabi “absolutely equally in all aspects.” ADL called on the UAE to heed this call and ensure that the Israel delegation is treated in the same manner as competitors from other countries.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:
It is an unacceptable that the UAE continues to treat Israeli athletes participating in an international competition differently than athletes from every other country. The IJF has made an important statement in refusing to enable this nationality based discrimination at a competition under its auspices.
The apparent requirements made by the UAE hosts – barring the Israeli flag and the identification of the athletes as Israelis – are offensive and unfair, and violate the non-political competitive nature of international sporting events.
According to media reports, the Israeli delegation to the Judo Grand Slam event, being held in Abu Dhabi, Oct. 26-28, are being barred from competing under the Israeli flag or even identifying on the scoreboard as representing the country. Israeli judokas were subject to similar restrictions during the same competition in 2015.
In a letter to IJF President Marius Vizer, sent on Oct. 23, ADL called on the Federation to “intervene in this matter and ensure, under the risk of penalty, that the Israeli delegation is treated fairly and equally to other countries, and its athletes be allowed to compete under their flag and country name. ADL further called on the IJF “to enact policy to require host countries to permit all competitors to participate under their internationally-recognized flag.”