WIESENTHAL CENTER TO BARCLAY’S BANK: “IF SECOND ISRAELI BANNED--CANCEL YOUR SPONSORSHIP OF ‘DUBAI APARTHEID TENNIS TOURNAMENT’”

February 17, 2009

 

WIESENTHAL CENTER TO BARCLAY’S BANK: “IF SECOND ISRAELI BANNED--CANCEL YOUR SPONSORSHIP OF ‘DUBAI APARTHEID TENNIS TOURNAMENT’”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging Barclays Bank to immediately drop its sponsorship of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships if Dubai denies Israeli tennis pro Andy Ram from entering their country. The government of Dubai already barred top Israeli tennis player, Shahar Peer, who is currently ranked #48 in international standings, because of alleged security concerns.

“If they’re going to bar Israelis, why not just rename it the ‘Dubai Apartheid Tournament’?” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center. “What Dubai is doing is caving to extremists who want to harm the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. If Dubai cannot handle appropriate security arrangements, then the tournament should be cancelled,” he added.

“But to penalize athletes who are qualified to participate in a sanctioned international tournament runs counter against the idea of Sports as a place for players of all nationalities and beliefs to compete -- free of politics.  What Dubai is doing is not only harmful to Sports, but is an embarrassment to Barclays, the sponsor of this high-profile event. We call on Barclays Bank to live up to its pledge to always be a good global citizen and to pull its name and sponsorship in protest,” Hier concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036.