Protest against Israeli sportswoman achieves littl
Kiwi Friends of Israel
Protest against Israeli sportswoman achieves little
The targeting of Israeli tennis star Shahar Pe'er by anti-Israel groups achieves little, says Kiwi Friends of Israel.
Just over a dozen members of the anti-Israel fringe group Global Peace and Justice Auckland picketed the ASB classic in a noisy protest.
"Global Peace and Justice Auckland have targeted Ms Pe'er because of her Israeli heritage and because she took part in compulsory military training. They are saying that because of her ethnicity - Israeli - she is not fit to play sport in New Zealand.
"They are trying to justify
this racial targeting by peddling out the tired, old and
discredited line that Israel is an "apartheid state" not
dissimilar to South Africa.
"Israel is a liberal and pluralistic democracy where Jews from America to Ethiopia to Yemen work and live alongside large and vibrant Arab communities. Arab Israelis are well represented in its Parliament, the Knesset. They are treated as first class citizens with all of the rights and responsibilities of other citizens of Israel, with the sole exception being that they can choose to opt out of military service.
"Comparing Israel to Apartheid South Africa is not only grossly offensive and factually incorrect, it also trivialises the horror and savagery of South Africa's apartheid regime, a regime Israel boycotted from 1987.
"Targeting and harassing anyone, including sports stars, simply because they come from a country with a Government you disagree with is a pointless exercise. It does nothing to promote peace and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians."