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Calls from Qatar to boycott sports tournament due to Israel participation

April 18, 2023 at 12:16 pm

A protest condemning Germany for calling the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement anti-Semitic outside of Germany’s Representative Office in the West Bank, 22 May 2019 [AFP/Getty Images]

Qatari anti-normalisation activists have condemned allowing Israeli female players to participate in the World Judo Championships that are scheduled to be held in the Qatari capital next month.

In a statement, the Qatar Youth Against Normalisation group called for the “immediate withdrawal and refusal to grant the representatives of Israel entry visas to the State of Qatar.”

The group stressed that “allowing the participation of Israeli female players represents a continuation of sports normalisation that is rejected by the public.”

“Popular rejection is at a high level, and it was evident in the positions that were expressed throughout the period of Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup at the end of last year,” added the group.

It explained that “sports normalisation enhances the practices of the Israeli occupation and its crimes in occupied Palestine and contributes to the continuity of this occupation by normalising its presence on Arab soil.”

“Israel seeks through its participation in sports, cultural forums, and other settings, to impose its legitimacy and present a false image that contradicts the reality of its daily violations, terrorist behaviour and continuous oppression of the Palestinians,” noted the group.

The Qatar Youth Against Normalisation group called on judo fans and the Qatari people to “boycott this shameful sporting event, and to express their rejection of this continuous disregard by officials of the atrocities committed by Israel, and their opposition to the usurping state’s continuous violations of international human rights covenants.”

It urged “parents of students and the education community” not to interact with the tournaments that help normalise ties with the occupation by refraining from sending their sons and daughters to attend the events.

Qatar Youth Against Normalisation is a non-governmental youth group, working to monitor attempts at normalisation in Arab countries and ways to resist it. It works within the goals of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel.

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