“Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles . . .
The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” — The Olympic Charter’s first two of seven Fundamental Principles of Olympism. (https://stillmed.olympic.org/Documents/olympic_charter_en.pdf)
Two days prior to the start of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach called for a minute of silence — for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed by Palestinian terrorists/freedom fighters at the 1972 Munich Olympics — during the inauguration of a “place of mourning” in the athletes village in Rio de Janeiro.
While it is commendable to mourn those who are in any way unjustly killed, Bach’s noble sentiment was to say the least hypocritical for several reasons. There was for instance no mention of, or moment of silence for the thousands of innocent Palestinians killed during Apartheid Israeli assaults including recent and current extrajudicial murders with impunity by the Israeli Defence Force and equally murderous settlers.
Double standards? During South Africa’s Apartheid era, the IOC in 1964 barred South Africa from taking part in the 18th Olympic Games in Tokyo over its refusal to condemn apartheid. The IOC’s decision was announced the in Lausanne, Switzerland, after South Africa failed to meet an ultimatum to comply with its demands by 16 August. Coincidentally, later that year in October South Africa was also suspended indefinitely by FIFA, football’s international governing body. So far, however, both these overtly august but covertly corrupt bodies have failed to either condemn or take action against Israel whose version of Apartheid brutality has repeatedly exceeded that of Apartheid South Africa’s worst massacre — when police opened fire on the crowd in 1960, killing 69 people in the township of Sharpeville — as opposed to Israel’s recent Operations Cast Lead and Protective Edge which alone slaughtered over 3,600 mostly innocent Palestinian civilians with tens of thousands of others injured.
Both the IOC (founded on June 23, 1894 in Paris) and FIFA (founded May 21, 1904 in Paris) were also around during the 1948 Palestinian exodus otherwise known as the Nabka when thousands of Palestinians were murdered with some 750,00 deliberately terrorised into fleeing from their homes and to be subsequently denied “the right of return” which Israel’s racial discrimination automatically grants to all Jews even though most of them have no genetic or other connection whatsoever to Palestine
The IOC’s current hypocrisy in Brazil is merely a repeat of 2014 World Cup when Israel — despite its well documented racism — was allowed to compete in the competition at a time when both the Brazilian government and FIFA had launched separate anti-racism campaigns. How could they have possibly missed such readily available evidence on Youtube.
The discrepancy between how the world has viewed Apartheid in Israel and South Africa has been due mainly to the fact that the Afrikaners, unlike the Israelis, had not been the victims of a horrendous holocaust; their past suffering was not of a sufficient scale to have accumulated either the amount or kind of international sympathy that would condone continued human rights violations; they did not have a dedicated worldwide network of lobbyists who could diffuse, suppress or influence negative public opinion; and last but not least, unlike the Israelis, they lacked the benefit of having at their disposal the support of the U.S whose influence or power of veto within international organisations have always been supportive of Israel.
While lobby and pressure groups can play a legitimate role in bringing about changes that are a benefit to society, they should not be allowed to erode and undermine any of the rights inherent to all human beings irrespective of nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled without discrimination to our human rights which are are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.The principle of universality of human rights became the cornerstone of international human rights law. The principle was first emphasised in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948 — the year of the Nabka — and has since been reiterated in numerous international human rights conventions, declarations, and resolutions with the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights noting that it was the duty of States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems.
The Apartheid nation of Israel should recognise that such principles are present in all the major human rights treaties and provide the central theme of some of international human rights conventions with the principle of non-discrimination being complemented by the principle of equality, as stated in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Hypocritical Israelis who demand so much for themselves should perhaps pause and just for a moment unselfishly consider the following:
“The true civilisation is where every man gives to every other man every right he claims for himself.” — Robert G. Ingersoll
International organisations such as the IOC and FIFA are equally bound by human rights obligations which include making those who violate such rights accountable for their contemptible actions through bans and boycotts — as in the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign — which along with free speech are non-negotiable basic civil rights that pro-Israel Jewish lobby groups are trying to silence and criminalise. Jews should carefully consider the words of Yehoshafat Harkabi — Chief of Israeli Military Intelligence (1955-9) and subsequently a professor of International Relations and Middle East Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem — who in his book Israel’s Fateful Hour, called for Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories and warned as follows:
“We Israelis must be careful lest we become not a source of pride for Jews but a distressing burden. Israel is the criterion according to which all Jews will tend to be judged. Israel as a Jewish state is an example of the Jewish character, which finds free and concentrated expression within it. Anti-Semitism has deep and historical roots. Nevertheless, any flaw in Israeli conduct, which initially is cited as anti-Israelism, is likely to be transformed into empirical proof of the validity of anti-Semitism. It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world. In the struggle against anti-Semitism, the frontline begins in Israel.”
William Hanna is a freelance writer with published books the Hiramic Brotherhood of the Third Temple and The Tragedy of Palestine and its Children. Purchase information, sample chapter, other articles, and contact details at: