Statement on UAE's denial of visa to Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer

February 17th, 2009

J Street is troubled by the United Arab Emirates’ decision to deny Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer entry to compete in this week’s Barclay’s Dubai Tennis Championships.  Sporting events aim to bring people together beyond the lines of nationality, race, and creed, for the sake of talent and cooperation.  To inject politics into such a tournament flies in the face of its mission and unfairly punishes a civilian for the actions of her government.  We hope the UAE will reconsider this detrimental decision as another Israeli player, Andy Ram, prepares for next week’s Dubai Open. UPDATE:  J Street welcomes the United Arab Emirates' decision to issue a visa for Israeli tennis player Andy Ram to participate in the Dubai Open.  While Shahar Peer unfortunately fell victim to political maneuvering, we're encouraged by the UAE's reconsideration and hope that politics no longer trump cooperation and sportsmanship both in the region and around the world.