KUALA LUMPUR: A war of words is rising between Malaysia government and Israel government since Malaysia Prime Minister Dr Mahathir earlier this week announced that Malaysia would ban Israeli athletes from participating in the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships which will be held in Sarawak, Malaysia later this year.
Athletes from some 70 countries are expected to compete in the July 29 to August 4 championships.
The ban on the Israeli athletes has drawn objections from Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Olympic Committee of Israel
Yesterday, Israel condemned Malaysia’s ban on Israeli participation in international sporting events it hosts and described Dr Mahathir as an “anti-Semitism”.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon in a statement has called on the International Paralympic Committee, which is organising the competition, to change the venue if it cannot persuade Malaysia to lift the edict.
And today Putrajaya has hit back at the Israeli Foreign Ministry today, pointing out that Israel should not talk about moral values while oppressing the Palestinians in their home land.
In a statement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said he was “deeply disgusted” by the Israeli ministry for accusing Malaysia of “opposing the Olympic spirit.”
“For more than half a century, Israel has continued to disregard the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, while committing inhumane policies and practices that are in clear violation of international laws.
“Israel has no right to talk about moral values when they themselves are the exact opposite,” Saifuffin said here.
The ministry also reiterated Malaysia has and will always be a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause till the Palestinians’ get back their rights and freedom.