Friday, March 03, 2006

Tennis Anyone?

What happens when you mix Debbie Schlussel, Sports Illustrated, Tennis and Dubai?

Well if you're a rational thinking person, you get a headache from the overwhelming idiocy of the situation.

First Sports Illustrated's John Weirtheim, writing about the tennis tournament in Dubai, uses the usual unsubstatiated slander against Dubai:

The current "ports controversy" has laid bare the United Arab Emirate's role as a financial and logistical hub in the planning of the 9-11 attacks. As for the tennis, as I wrote a few years ago, the U.A.E. does not exactly have a sterling record on women's rights.

Unfortunately John didn't provide a link to see what he was basing this on but its an Arab country so they probably do have a poor record on women's rights.

I know that we had looked into playing golf at the Emirates Golf Club, host to the Dubai Desert Classic, where Tiger, Vijay and Mark O'Meara regularly appear, they didn't allow women to golf there, which completely sucks, but in terms of that affecting the UAE's record on women's rights, well I just have two words - Augusta National.

Anyhow, that's the usual factless slander about the UAE that we've come to expect from a myriad of sources from Pelosi to Malkin, no big deal.

Let's throw some Debbie Schlussel into the soup to real up the crazy quotient.

Debbie starts her post on the tournament like this:

It's Official: Dubai Tennis Tourney Bans Jews; Shame on Agassi

Tennis vs. the Jews Update

In our ongoing coverage of the rotten Dubai Ports World deal to run American ports, we asked this question, yesterday: Does Dubai ban Israelis and Jews from this week's Dubai Open?

Well, now, it's official: YES!

Well, uh, no.

Debbie uses this line from Weirtheim's article as evidence that the tournament has banned Jews:

Reader Lance Harke called this link to our attention. Note this prominent line: "Nationals of 'Israel' may not enter the U.A.E."

To which Debbie says:

Shame on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) for sanctioning this bigoted event. Sickening. And shame on Andre Agassi, Martina Hingis, and the others playing in this Judeinrein event. Disgusting.

Maybe Debbie should read a little more carefully. It is the UAE, not the tournament making this ridiculous edict, and the ban is not on Jews but citizens of Israel. I'm sure that was pretty apparant to all but the most ignorant troglodytes but even if it wasn't Weirtheim goes on to say:

We asked the ATP and WTA about this issue and both tours reported that before giving their sanction, they had assurances that no player would be denied entry into the Dubai event.

So really, not only are the details of Debbie's statement incorrect, everything about it is patently false, and if she had read (or not ignored) the rest of the article after the Israeli ban is mentioned she would have known that. Of course, then she wouldn't be able to scream about how Arabs are anti-semetic and pose prophetic in justified outrage.

As far as the UAE ban on Israeli citizens go, yes that is ugly. It is an issue that must be addressed as it is indicative of the issues that cloud the middle east and the rest of the world. The fact that the UAE puts quotes around the name Israel says enough about their feelings towards the country.

Of course Debbie is being hypocritical in her outrage towards the UAE's igonorance of Israel as she repeatedly claims that any map with a Palestinian state is a "map of hate," she was outraged about Paradise Now being nominated for the Golden Globes and Oscars because Palestine is not a country, and she pretty much takes any and all opportunities to castigate Palestinians as animals, Arabs as terrorists and Muslims as murderers as we can see with her manipulative facts surrounding the Dubai tennis tournament.

Weirthheim poses this analogy:

Would the WTA or ATP ever even think about sanctioning an event in a country or club that excluded African-Americans?

First of all, it probably has in the past, but more importantly is how this statement shows the standard view of the problem.

They don't see this as countries protesting Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, as in the case of apartheid-era South African divestment, they see these boycotts and bans as plain bigotry. To some extent, bigotry and anti-semetism is a factor, but the main issue is that while trying to call attention to the plight of the Palestinians, Arab and Muslim countries usually just end up making themselves look worse.

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