10 January 2007

Editorials backfire too

I was reading the article Boycotts Backfire in JP with a sense of wonderment that grew all the way to the article's end. To start with the opening sentence:

If there is one arena where international politics is set aside to an unusual degree, it's sports.
It's a strong statement, but patently untrue. Just to give few examples:
  • The use of Olympic games by Nazi Germany to laud the "superiority" of Aryan race
  • Stalin sending footballers (Moscow Spartak, 1942) to Gulag for a loss of an international game
  • Chinese ping-pong diplomacy
  • Boycotts of Olympic games (The biggest in 1980 when 62 countries including USA, West Germany and Japan refused to attend in protest at the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan.) More on history of such boycotts here
  • And more...
When an article starts with such a glaring blooper, it is a bit difficult to take the rest seriously, however I have tried. The story of Mushir Salem Jawher of Bahrain who run in the Tiberias Marathon last week and as a result was stripped of Bahrain citizenship has been already in the air for some time. It is a sad case of stupid and irrational act of hate and as such should be protested by all means.

But what with the main premise of the article - that the boycotts backfire? I have tried to find a tiniest crumb of proof of that statement and could not. The only person who got the backfire quite badly was Mushir Salem Jawher. Otherwise, it is difficult to discern any signs of trouble the endless boycotting of Israel causes to the Muslim world. Just recently Saudi Arabia was accepted to WTO, their consistent boycott of Israel notwithstanding.

The article is supposed to be an editorial. Amazing...