In its latest violation of the International Olympic Committee’s Code of Ethics in particular and the spirit of sports in general, Palestinian boxer Sultan Abu Al-Haj recently forfeited a match because it was against an Israeli — Druze contender, Amit Madah.
When asked recently by an interviewer on official Palestinian Authority television why he had “refused” to compete in the August 8, 2017 match at the Youth Muaythai World Championships in Bangkok, Abu Al-Haj replied:
“I didn’t make the decision. It’s my coaches and the [Palestinian] Olympic Committee that made the decision, and as an athlete, I cannot oppose them…The decision was reached that it is forbidden to compete with [Israelis] because it’s beneath my dignity and dishonorable to compete with them and recognize them [sic] the State of Israel.”
The Palestinian Olympic Committee (POC) is headed by Fatah Central committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub, a senior Palestinian Authority (PA) leader. As the research organization Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) has documented extensively, Rajoub — who also heads the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) — does not use sports as a means to building bridges or establishing peaceful relations between the PA and Israel, but rather as an additional tool to demonize the Jewish people and the Jewish state.