Malaysian Muslim PM bans Israelis from attending World Para-Swimming
❌ Malaysian anti-Semitic Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who described Jews as “hook-nosed” and blamed them for creating all the troubles in the Middle East in a BBC interview last October, has imposed a ban on Israeli athletes, barring them from attending the World Paralympic-Swimming championships in July.
The majority-Muslim country does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with Israel.
Mahathir, who at 93 became the world’s oldest head of government after starting his second stint as prime minister in May, has for decades been known for his anti-Semitism.
“Even if we have already committed to hosting an event, they (Israelis) will not be allowed (into the country),” Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said.
“Secondly, Malaysia will not host any event that has representation from or participation of Israel,” he added.
Israeli athletes have been barred by Malaysia from attending the World Para-Swimming Championships scheduled for the eastern state of Sarawak from July 29-Aug. 4.
Swimmers from some 70 countries are expected to compete in the event which is an important milestone towards next year’s Tokyo Paralympics.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said in a statement that it was “bitterly disappointed” at the stance of the Malaysian government.
“World Championships should be open to all eligible nations and athletes. We will explore all options open to us to try and ensure the full participation of all eligible athletes”, the IPC said in a statement.