Israel blasts Malaysia for ‘shameful, antisemitic’ ban on its athletes
Israel condemned on Thursday Malaysia’s ban on Israeli participation in international sporting events it hosts and said the decision was inspired by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s “rabid antisemitism.”
Malaysia, a majority-Muslim country that does not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, announced it would bar Israelis from any event in the Southeast Asian nation after banning Israeli athletes from the World Para Swimming championships this coming July.
In a statement, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon called on the International Paralympic Committee, which is organising the competition, to change the venue if it cannot persuade Malaysia to lift the edict.
“This is shameful and totally opposes the Olympic spirit,” the statement said. “Israel condemns the decision, inspired no doubt by Malaysia PM Mahathir’s rabid antisemitism.”