5 January 2016
Mr Will Goodier
Table Tennis Australia
Office 2.13, Sports House 150 Caxton Street
Milton QLD 4064
Dear Mr Goodier,
I write to express concerns of the Zionist Federation of Australia over disquieting reports that the Malaysian Government has failed to grant entry visas that will allow the Israeli team to compete in the World Team Table Tennis Championships scheduled for February in Kuala Lumpur.
Just last month the Israeli Sailing Association was forced to withdraw its athletes from the Youth World Sailing Championships in Langkwai after they were denied Malaysian entry visas.
While a single such incident could be ascribed to bureaucratic oversight, two such occurrences taking place in rapid succession would indicate that more insidious factors might be at play.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) – of which you are a constituent member – proudly proclaims the “Promotion of Olympic Values” as one of its core principles. And amongst these values is the principle of “Sport for all”.
The Malaysian Government’s denial of visas to Israeli athletes is contrary to the Olympic values espoused by the ITTF. Not only does this action also betray the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) definition of sport as: “a recognised instrument for promoting peace”, but it arguably has anti-Semitic undertones as well.
We ask Table Tennis Australia to voice dismay over Malaysian Government’s betrayal of Olympic values and UNESCO principles. We also urge you to convey these concerns to the international table tennis community, writ large, in the hope that negative publicity might induce Malaysia to abandon this vindictive policy.
Dr. Danny Lamm