Israeli Windsurfers Cancel Participation in World Championship Over Host Country’s Anti-Israel Demands
JNS.org – Two Israelis, Yoav Omer and Noy Drihan, will not be able to defend their titles at the Youth Sailing World Championship in Malaysia after the Israel Sailing Association (ISA) on Wednesday announced it will not send a delegation because of anti-Israel demands made by organizers.
The ISA claims that the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the International Olympic Committee and the hosts will not allow the surfers to compete under the Israeli flag and could not use any symbol affiliated with Israel on their clothing or surfboard. Also, if an Israeli should win a gold medal, the hosts said they would not play the Israeli national anthem.
In addition, they have yet to receive visas to travel for the Sunday competition.
“The Malaysians’ demands are unacceptable, and as we haven’t received the visas, we decided not to participate. We condemn the unsporting conduct of the organizing committee. We will not agree to be humiliated and we are considering filing a lawsuit against the ISAF and the host country in coordination with the Olympic Committee of Israel,” ISA chairman Gili Amir said.
Omer won the gold medal in the Under-19 for men in the last championships and Drihan won for the women in Under-17 and Under-19 competitions.