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ISAF Youth Worlds

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Olympic Sailing
Forum Discription: The top end racing in our sport
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12258
Printed Date: 18 Oct 17 at 5:53pm
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Topic: ISAF Youth Worlds
Posted By: Andy Ash-Vie
Subject: ISAF Youth Worlds
Date Posted: 28 Dec 15 at 2:58pm
Has everybody noticed how Israel has effectively been barred from competing by Malaysia unilaterally withholding visas and stating that no Israel flag, logo or national anthem can be played? I am no particular fan of Israel and are plenty of other countries whose behaviour I find offensive but I wouldn't expect them to be barred from an international event like this. And lets face it, Malaysia's record on human rights isnt exactly sqeaky clean. So should ISAF/World Sailing allow this event to carry their name and their approval? Or will they have the guts to make a stand?



Replies:
Posted By: Mark Jardine
Date Posted: 28 Dec 15 at 5:13pm
Hi Andy, we've been assured by Malcolm Page that ISAF are investigating this. They need to do more than brush this one under the carpet. Mark


Posted By: Mark Jardine
Date Posted: 29 Dec 15 at 11:43am
Richard Gladwell has written an excellent article on Sail-World.com about the situation - see http://www.sail-world.com/Youth-Worlds---Organisers-in-hot-seat-after-Israel-sailors-excluded/141176" rel="nofollow - http://www.sail-world.com/Youth-Worlds---Organisers-in-hot-seat-after-Israel-sailors-excluded/141176

Whatever your political views, this situation stinks.


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 29 Dec 15 at 12:41pm
Where were the other sailors in all this? In our day there would have been a grass roots boycott, refusal to participate, nobody likes politics in sport it's outrageous our team hasn't withdrawn.

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http://www.edgeactionsports.co.uk" rel="nofollow - Beanies, Bike Helmets & Snow accessories to clear


Posted By: transient
Date Posted: 29 Dec 15 at 4:39pm
Originally posted by iGRF

nobody likes politics in sport

Mmm maybe but it's inevitable.

I'll not argue the rights and wrongs of this particular case but surely there must come a time when a regimes behaviour is so bad that a boycott is completely the right thing to do.

I'm thinking back to the SA boycott.


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 29 Dec 15 at 5:12pm
Using sport to back up political cowardice is never the answer, not in any circumstance, only the individual sportsmen and women should consciously decide who they compete with, not bloody governments.
The moment those RSX sailors found out the current champion was not going to be able to compete they should have refused to enter, not forced to go by their national squad manager presumably on pain of funding withdrawal or whatever coercive forces those a-holes use these days.

Paints a very black picture of ISAF & the RYA, someone needs to mention anti semitism.

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http://www.edgeactionsports.co.uk" rel="nofollow - Beanies, Bike Helmets & Snow accessories to clear


Posted By: transient
Date Posted: 29 Dec 15 at 5:44pm
Ordinarily I would agree with you....but......at an international event the individual sportsperson is representing their country and you cannot separate a government from a it's flag.

anyway, reading the report it would appear that the Malaysian government agree with you to some extent.

Some of the conditions stipulated for Israeli Individuals to compete:
 

 1. The Israeli team had to compete on an anonymous basis. 
2. The team had to compete as an ISAF team and not representing Israel. 
3. They could only take indirect flights via Singapore to Langkawi (these were believed to have been booked, by the Israelis.) 
4. The Israeli team were not permitted to display any names, flags, logos, theme, colors that would indicate that they were representing Israel and had to portray themselves as representing the ISAF/World Sailing. 


Posted By: transient
Date Posted: 29 Dec 15 at 5:59pm
I read the main body of your post but only just noticed this.
 
Originally posted by iGRF


someone needs to mention anti semitism.



That's a game for silly buggers and you know it.


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 29 Dec 15 at 10:27pm
I think it's very hard to criticise youth sailors and even National Authorities who may not have known about this until very late.  Perhaps the sailors not until they were at the venue.

And once there?  Well some sort of action might be welcome.


Posted By: SUGmeister
Date Posted: 30 Dec 15 at 10:40am
Really, Really REALLY what idiot decided to give these games to Malaysia. Same goes for Oman based events.




Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 30 Dec 15 at 12:15pm
Well, Living as we do in a country that conducts academic boycotts of Israeli scholars, maybe we should be wary about casting stones.


Posted By: Jon Meadowcroft
Date Posted: 30 Dec 15 at 12:29pm
The article about the controversy is very good.

Why are Y&Y publishing the ISAF media releases of this event given the concerns noted? If you feel that you should publish, why don't you use some editorial control and directly reference the controversy?


Posted By: Mark Jardine
Date Posted: 30 Dec 15 at 12:34pm
Originally posted by Jon Meadowcroft

The article about the controversy is very good.

Why are Y&Y publishing the ISAF media releases of this event given the concerns noted? If you feel that you should publish, why don't you use some editorial control and directly reference the controversy?


We are running the daily reports as I believe it's unfair to tarnish the other competitors and those who want to follow the event with the organisers decision. We have run the article about the controversy and it can always be found in related articles.


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 30 Dec 15 at 4:54pm
Originally posted by JimC

Well, Living as we do in a country that conducts academic boycotts of Israeli scholars, maybe we should be wary about casting stones.


Or putting pressure on those institutions, too.

It will be interesting to see whether Israel have an open policy in 2017 about entries.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 30 Dec 15 at 9:28pm
I'd like to see all the podium sailors draped in an Israeli flag!


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 30 Dec 15 at 9:48pm
Originally posted by JimC

Well, Living as we do in a country that conducts academic boycotts of Israeli scholars, maybe we should be wary about casting stones.

No, we should be challenging them as well, who does this? Evidence?

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http://www.edgeactionsports.co.uk" rel="nofollow - Beanies, Bike Helmets & Snow accessories to clear


Posted By: blueboy
Date Posted: 31 Dec 15 at 7:33am
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_boycotts_of_Israel#United_Kingdom


Posted By: SUGmeister
Date Posted: 31 Dec 15 at 11:28am
I may not be a very good sailor but I am a very good coms expert! Maybe I missed it but this story is no longer in the news listings on the home page??

Any how using Twitter in a few minutes I have had the Sail World article retweeted to in excess of 100000 people.

It obviously will not have any effect on the situation, but it makes me feel better!


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 31 Dec 15 at 1:18pm
I mailed it to that Melanie Phillips, she's a pro israeli journo bound to use it to embarrass someone or other.

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http://www.edgeactionsports.co.uk" rel="nofollow - Beanies, Bike Helmets & Snow accessories to clear


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 01 Jan 16 at 12:21pm
If countries that banned sailors of certain nationalities were not permitted to hold world titles, the UK, Greece, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (among others) would not have been allowed to host any world titles from 1977 to 1991.  Nor in fact could Malaysia have been allowed to hold a worlds through that period.  

The Malaysian attitude to Israel is revolting (they also aim institutionalised racism at Malaysian-born people of Chinese descent) but since the entire Commonwealth practised the same sort of exclusion for years (with much better cause I'd say) then we seem like hypocrites when we tell our kids to withdraw.


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 02 Jan 16 at 1:29pm
Does strike me that ISAF or World Sailing or whatever they call themselves, should screen any nation that holds World Sailing events to ensure that all qualifying entrants can obtain Visas and compete.  Their failure to do so is abhorant.

These youngsters only get one bite at a Youth Worlds and to deny them a place is something that they may carry for the rest of their lives.  To suggest that they could compete but deny their national flag is wrong given that the flag ceremony is often an important part of a World Championship event ... It is like saying you competent but you must deny your nationhood.

Our NMA the RYA has close ties with ISAF and we should all pressure them to clean up their act.  IMO those considering RYA membership might consider the RYA's possible complicity in this state of affairs and vote with their feet.  Perhaps the RYA might then take notice and get their delegates to act.

Anyway, at least youth sailors might be able to learn from this how cr*p are the politics of sport, and sailing is no exception.




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Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth


Posted By: blueboy
Date Posted: 02 Jan 16 at 3:53pm
Originally posted by davidyacht

Does strike me that ISAF or World Sailing or whatever they call themselves, should screen any nation that holds World Sailing events to ensure that all qualifying entrants can obtain Visas and compete. 



They say they did and had received assurances there would be no issue.

Malaysia's position on Israel is however long-standing and well-known. 


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 02 Jan 16 at 7:44pm
So David, what about the situation from 1977 to 1991 when the Commonwealth nations and others excluded athletes from South Africa?  In that situation, would you have prevented every Commonwealth nation (including Malaysia, ironically) from hosting any world title in sailing for the entire period? 

Or would you have let sailors enter for South Africa and march under the South African flag, in contravention of the Gleneagles agreement, at the risk of exposing the sailors to demonstrations of the type seen when the Springboks played in NZ and of sanctions against the entire sport of sailing?  Or would you have let the South Africans come in quietly and not fly a flag that the world saw as a symbol of violent oppression?

What about those who claim that the sporting boycott of South Africa was a major force for good and a significant reason for the end of apartheid?  If so, then morally how can sailing ignore the humanitarian aspect and not join an international boycott designed to stop a government from shooting and oppressing its own people?

Please note I'm not really saying that there Malaysian action was anything but abhorrent; they also oppress their own people on racial grounds too.  But the general principle may be a bit more complicated than some people are saying, and there does seem to be a lot of people forgetting that we used to do it too, and we'd probably do it again in some situations. 

There is room to wonder whether ironically there isn't some racism in some criticisms of Malaysia's stance - it was OK for "us" to take such action, but when "they" take similar actions it's abhorrent.


PS - you're dead right (IMHO) that denying kids the chance to do a youth worlds is wrong.  It's sad to see people on Sailing Anarchy calling for teenagers to make a sacrifice that the internet heroes have never made.





Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 02 Jan 16 at 10:37pm
i don't see that Malaysia's exclusion of Israeli Youth Sailors as being based on any humanitarian arguement.  IMO this was avoidable by ISAF, especially in the knowledge that Israeli sailors are a force at this level.

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Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 03 Jan 16 at 7:08am
Apparently from the Malaysian point of view, Israel is not recognised because they are occupying the sovereign nation of Palestine and attacking its citizens, such as killing the people who were carrying humanitarian aid in the Gaza flotilla raid.. Opposition to killing those in humanitarian convoys can easily be classed as "humanitarian".  

If I was a Muslim or from the Middle East, I may think that a boycott aimed at removing Israel from Palestine was a good thing.  There were plenty of people who thought that the Gleneagles agreement was wrong too, since it was in aid of people who included "terrorists" and communists, or simply because they believed that sporting boycotts were wrong.  I don't agree that the Gleneagles agreement was wrong, but that's a personal political/ethical decision and who is to say that World Sailing has to agree with my political decision?  

It therefore appears that ISAF is supposed to say "this boycott is good and must be supported by ISAF, that boycott is bad and must not be supported by ISAF".  Is that really the job of an international sporting body?  ISAF can't even following the UN to get guidance - there are many UN resolutions against Israel.  

Let me underline once again the fact that I am no friend of Malaysia's racist official policies, or any other racist policies for that matter.  Nor am I saying Israel should not exist.  All I'm saying is that the whole question of whether ISAF should only go to countries that allow free access to all is very murky, and if it had been applied in the past the UK, Australia, Canada, Malaysia etc would not have been allowed to hold world titles for many years.   

By the way, you may want to check whether the UK allows all athletes to enter.



Posted By: blueboy
Date Posted: 03 Jan 16 at 8:40am
Malaysia has never recognised the state of Israel and that pre-dates the situation in Gaza by decades. Therefore it is not a protest against the humanitarian situation there.

Whether one agreed with it or not, Gleneagles was a joint Commonwealth agreement. There is no such internationally agreed boycott against Israel, therefore Malaysia's position is not the same thing. There are multiple UN resolutions concerning Israel but none calls for a boycott on Israeli goods or travel restrictions on Israeli citizens.


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 03 Jan 16 at 9:18am
To my rather naive eye, the UN is there to resolve such issues ... Not individual states.  I was wondering about starting a new thread "the UN is a broken organisation; Discuss" should this be in the Racing Rules or Organisation sections?

Anyway, ISAF should have seen this coming, they did not do their due diligence, and should have sought assurances from the Malaysian government before signing up ... I am sure that there would have been other countries that could have hosted a true World Championship.


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Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 03 Jan 16 at 9:28am
Originally posted by blueboy

Malaysia has never recognised the state of Israel and that pre-dates the situation in Gaza by decades. Therefore it is not a protest against the humanitarian situation there.

The Malaysian government says that it is.  See the website for Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the http://www.kln.gov.my/web/guest/bilateral

Is the Malaysian position genuine?  Who knows?  The Malaysia/Israel relationship is full of inconsistencies.  But what is ISAF to do? Carry out a full investigation to decide exactly what the motivation of a country is, irrespective of what the government claims?  How does one do that?


Whether one agreed with it or not, Gleneagles was a joint Commonwealth agreement. There is no such internationally agreed boycott against Israel, therefore Malaysia's position is not the same thing. There are multiple UN resolutions concerning Israel but none calls for a boycott on Israeli goods or travel restrictions on Israeli citizens.

The Arab League has had an "internationally agreed boycott against Israel."  I can't find out if that includes sports but it would appear to be likely.  

To say that only agreements between nations count would seem to be discriminating against unaligned countries.  Greece did not allow South African athletes to play in the country as a protest against apartheid. Was that wrong?  So it was OK for the UK or Australia to ban South African athletes, but not OK for Greece to ban South African athletes?  

The Davis Cup rejected a team from apartheid South Africa, despite the fact that it was not ruled by the Gleneagles Agreement.  Was that wrong?

If ASEAN came to a joint agreement to ban sailors from a certain country, would that make it OK?  

What would happen if Malaysia's discrimination against its citizens of Chinese origin became worse, and (for example) they would not allow them to compete in sailing for Malaysia?  Should the UK allow (say) the 10th best Malaysian kids to compete in an ISAF worlds in the UK while allowing the better ones to stay at home just because they are of Chinese descent?

Would it be OK for the UK to ban a racist Malaysian team if the Commonwealth came to an agreement to do so, but not if the Commonwealth hadn't finished voting on the matter?

Would it be OK if the UK could ban a race-based Malaysian team because the Commonwealth said so, but not OK for Greece to ban a race-based Malaysian team because they are not part of the Commonwealth?









 




Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 03 Jan 16 at 9:49am
Originally posted by davidyacht

To my rather naive eye, the UN is there to resolve such issues ... Not individual states. 

Anyway, ISAF should have seen this coming, they did not do their due diligence, and should have sought assurances from the Malaysian government before signing up ... I am sure that there would have been other countries that could have hosted a true World Championship.

Ok, so you agree than that (say) Greece should not have been allowed to hold ISAF world titles while they barred South African teams.  Effectively you are saying that they should not have been allowed to put pressure on South Africa to end apartheid.

Is the UK now going to be banned from holding ISAF world titles because it has recently denied a visa to a sports official because of his political connections?




Posted By: blueboy
Date Posted: 03 Jan 16 at 10:32am
Originally posted by Chris 249


 Greece did not allow South African athletes to play in the country as a protest against apartheid. Was that wrong? 


Yes and the same answer to your similar examples.

So it was OK for the UK or Australia to ban South African athletes, but not OK for Greece to ban South African athletes?  



The UK was bound to do so by the Gleneagles agreement. That is not the same as action by an individual country. I'm not entirely happy about any set of nations except the UN making such a decision but the Commonwealth is multi-regional and multi-ethnic.




Is the UK now going to be banned from holding ISAF world titles because it has recently denied a visa to a sports official because of his political connections?


I'm afraid I don't know what case you are talking about. Provide a link to the story and I'll tell you what I think.




Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 03 Jan 16 at 12:45pm
Trouble is, politics is always subjective, not objective, so comparing different situations doesn't necessarily work very well.

I disagreed with the SA sporting ban at the time, for many of the reasons people are setting for the Isreal one here. Hindsight has made me realise I was wrong. Doesn't mean I'd be wrong (or right) this time, as the situations are different.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 03 Jan 16 at 9:09pm
As far as I'm aware, if the games were to be held in Israel, I think malaysians would struggle to be able to compete in them also.  No one with a Malaysian passport can travel to Israel, as it quite clearly says so on their passports.  Whether that's a rule imposed by Israel or Malaysia I'm unsure, but I'd hope that if this was the other way round everyone would be showing equal interest. 



Posted By: NickM
Date Posted: 06 Jan 16 at 9:33pm
I suspect quite a few countries would not let their athletes compete in Israel.


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 06 Jan 16 at 10:02pm
Not allowing your athletes to compete in certain places and not allowing other country's athletes to perform in your abode are slightly different issues, I think, from a practical viewpoint, if not a moral one.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: Richard Gladwell
Date Posted: 19 Jan 16 at 12:32am
I see the Israeli Table Tennis team which was being subject to the same Malaysian welcome as the Israeli Sailing Team  - but their world body threatened to impose sanctions on the Malaysians - has elected to pull out of the competition.

Someone has told the Malaysians  that they won't face sanctions as a result - so they have got off the hook again.

The only people who can deal to this issue are the world bodies who are proving to be remarkably spineless.

RG


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 22 Jan 16 at 4:06am
There were many, many people who thought that the exclusion of South African sportspeople was a damn good way of exerting pressure to end a disgraceful regime.  Is it better to wave and cheer while the representatives of a racist regime compete?
 
What would happen if individual countries started to take action against the sports that compete against a country that is subject to a boycott like the Gleneagles Agreement?  What about if there was a situation as there was in the early '80s, where sailors from the UK were banned from sailing in world championships against South Africans?  We ended up in exactly the same situation where some athletes were excluded.
 
Is it really easier for ISAF to sit back and cop the abuse, than it would be for them to have cancelled the worlds?  Which is the less spineless route?
 
It seems that there is no easy solution to this issue, unless we think it's 100% tickety boo to be in a situation where we may have to applaud while the national flag of a country that chose to murder many of its own citizens was raised in honour of a team that was chosen on a discriminatory basis.  If there was a South African team there that was only chosen from white athletes, while outstanding black sailors were banned from travelling and forced to sail separate regattas from sub-standard venues (which is the way it used to be) would you feel happy if kids were sailing against them? 


Posted By: GarethT
Date Posted: 22 Jan 16 at 7:53am
Like it or not, sport and politics are intertwined. Why else would governments plough considerable sums of money into Olympic sports. Note how we give more funding to sports that will deliver medals. If it was about wellbeing and sports development, we'd spread it more evenly.

It's a form of propaganda.

My view, if nations want to play with the rest of the world, they should play by the rest of world's rules. The UN should grow a pair.


Posted By: Andy Ash-Vie
Date Posted: 22 Jan 16 at 9:01am
I would have no objection to a collective action against Israel, I find their behaviour abhorrent, almost as bad as Hammas. But the critical point is that is should be a collective action not a unilateral one. Sure anybody is individually free not to deal with Israel but you can't agree to hold an open international event and then applied unilateral sanctions according to national prejudices.

If we do not stand up to this who is next? I'm not too keen on Saudi's human rights, should we ban them in the UK? How about gay athletes in a Russian event? Perhaps women in British Sailing should be obliged to cover up in Muslim countries?

So if we are to have true World Champs, you can't go excluding people that you don't like. If you want to pick and choose, sure that is your national prerogative to hold a closed entry event but you can't claim it to be an International event under the auspices of our International body.


Posted By: GarethT
Date Posted: 22 Jan 16 at 9:11am
Originally posted by Andy Ash-Vie

I would have no objection to a collective action against Israel, I find their behaviour abhorrent, almost as bad as Hammas. But the critical point is that is should be a collective action not a unilateral one. Sure anybody is individually free not to deal with Israel but you can't agree to hold an open international event and then applied unilateral sanctions according to national prejudices.

If we do not stand up to this who is next? I'm not too keen on Saudi's human rights, should we ban them in the UK? How about gay athletes in a Russian event? Perhaps women in British Sailing should be obliged to cover up in Muslim countries?

So if we are to have true World Champs, you can't go excluding people that you don't like. If you want to pick and choose, sure that is your national prerogative to hold a closed entry event but you can't claim it to be an International event under the auspices of our International body.


Can't argue with any of that.


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 22 Jan 16 at 9:34am
Okay, so not a single Commonwealth nation should have been allowed to hold a single world championship for the 15 years or so that Gleneagles was in action?  What would that have meant for sailing, in the Commonwealth nations and worldwide?  How would it have been for classes that are mainly sailed in the UK, for example?  Would the Ents and GP 14s have had to travel to Ireland just about every year for their worlds?  Would that really help the sport overall?  Would it really have helped fight the apartheid regime to see South Africa dominate the Fireball worlds or something?

Let's just step back in time.  The Commonwealth nations have agreed on Gleneagles.  We as sailors cannot fight that decision.  Would you have been OK if the UK could not hold a single world title for all those years?  I don't think we would have been in Oz.  The Kiwis seemed pretty proud of the fact that they held world titles.  Why is it OK for us (the UK, Oz and NZ) to ban nations but not Malaysia?

If we were all wrong (and it's doubtful) why are we not apologising profusely?  Why can be attack a country that does just what we did, and ignore the fact that we were "guilty" of the same acts?

What is "a collective action"?  The Arab League has taken "collective action" against Israel, so does that mean we all should?  If Cuba and North Korea take "collective action" to ban sailors from all western countries should everyone else follow suit?

"Perhaps women in British Sailing should be obliged to cover up in Muslim countries?"

Do athletes have the right to ignore the laws of the nation the title is being held in?  19year old Aussie, Kiwi or British sailors don't get to drink many places in the USA.  Sailors from the Netherlands don't get to smoke dope in Australia even if it's legal for them at home.  If an apartheid white South African team had gone to a world title in Oz or the UK in the '80s should they have been allowed to treat non-whites just like they did at home?*

So how far does one get to carry one's own laws when one goes to a regatta away from home?  Exactly what set of standards must the host live up to?  

All of these questions seem to be pretty difficult ones, which is why I don't understand the people who say that ISAF's decision was simple - especially when those people seem quite happy when their own nation did much the same thing.



* At least some of them did, and it was sickening to hear them talk of "kaffirs".  Not all South African sailors were like that, and it seems that some of them were in favour of the Gleneagles agreement even if it cost them the chance of doing world titles - they felt that fighting race-based oppression was more important than going for a sail.




Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 22 Jan 16 at 9:55am
Originally posted by Rupert

Trouble is, politics is always subjective, not objective, so comparing different situations doesn't necessarily work very well.

 

Sure - but since it's subjective why do so many people speak as if ISAF was objectively wrong?

And why do so many who condemn ISAF either go along with similar action taken by their own nation, or fail to start a movement to apologise for those actions?

There does seem to be a lot of "WE were right to stand up for our beliefs, THEY cannot stand up for their beliefs" about this.


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 22 Jan 16 at 9:57am
If sailing wants to be a world sport it has to put up with the world as it is. And here in the west we should remember there are many countries where they see our lifestyles and forms of government more as a dreadful warning than a shining example. We expect them to put up with our appalling behaviour (as they see it) so perhaps we need to put up with their appalling behaviour (as we see it).



Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 22 Jan 16 at 10:11am
Originally posted by Richard Gladwell

I see the Israeli Table Tennis team which was being subject to the same Malaysian welcome as the Israeli Sailing Team  - but their world body threatened to impose sanctions on the Malaysians - has elected to pull out of the competition.

Someone has told the Malaysians  that they won't face sanctions as a result - so they have got off the hook again.

The only people who can deal to this issue are the world bodies who are proving to be remarkably spineless.

RG

That's the same world table tennis body that once barred South Africa.  If it was right then why is it wrong now? If it was wrong then, where is the apology to South Africans?





Posted By: gladwell
Date Posted: 26 Jan 16 at 10:22am
Probably because the sport ban was imposed on South Africa by the Commonwealth Nations. South Africa was also suspended from the Commonwealth for its racial policies.

There is no such ban on Israeli athletes, Malaysia is just a country that will bid for major world championships knowing that their government will not let Israeli sailors inside their borders. And ISAF are silly enough to approve the application and then let themselves get caught napping, when they don't follow up on a situation that had been developing since 2011.

RG


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 27 Jan 16 at 9:26am
The Gleneagles Agreement was signed in June '77; the UN International Convention against Apartheid in Sports was adopted in December 1985.  Therefore for eight years South Africans were regularly denied the chance to sail in world titles before the UN banned them

South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth in 1961 after its people voted to become a republic. It was not suspended from the Commonwealth for its racist policies.

http://www.sahistory.org.za/topic/becoming-republic-and-withdrawal-commonwealth-1961

\




Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 27 Jan 16 at 10:33am
Originally posted by Chris 249

...South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth in 1961 after its people voted ...

Well, some of its people anyway. Don't forget that a lot of them didn't have a vote in those days.


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 27 Jan 16 at 11:47am
Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by Chris 249

...South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth in 1961 after its people voted ...

Well, some of its people anyway. Don't forget that a lot of them didn't have a vote in those days.

Very true, tragically (although if my wife's great uncle John X Merriman had been successful at the Union Conference, most of them would have;  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Qualified_Franchise ).  And a lot of the best athletes were not allowed to go overseas, but apparently ISAF should have welcomed teams selected on racial grounds rather than ban them.






Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 27 Jan 16 at 11:51am
It would be an interesting exercise to work out every nation that has ever blocked athlete participation in an event for political reasons, and then see how many are left...


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 27 Jan 16 at 12:05pm
Yes.... it looks as if the USA is out, for its restrictions on Cuban pros if nothing else. The home of the Olympics out; all the Commonwealth countries out; China is arguably out because of the way they force Taiwanese to compete under another flag. And that's from a few seconds of research.

It looks as if Ireland or Montenegro or somewhere will be hosting about 144 world titles each year.


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 27 Jan 16 at 12:09pm
The Irish never banned the English from anything?

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: Richard Gladwell
Date Posted: 27 Jan 16 at 12:14pm
Except that two wrongs don't make a right.

Further the Malaysians and ISAF issued a Notice of Race on December 8, 2014 - over a year from the start of the regatta, saying that it was open to all countries in good standing with ISAF. Israel is in good standing with the ISAF/World Sailing.

Then they started playing the political games. It is not acceptable, and the ISAF should not and will not be allocating world championships to countries that want to do this sort of thing.






Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 27 Jan 16 at 1:31pm
Originally posted by Rupert

The Irish never banned the English from anything?

Good point.  What about Lichtenstien? Do they have a lake?

Oh dear, it looks like the entire European Community is out; they banned Nigerian teams in 1995.  And why should the nations that are part of the EC be allowed to escape the consequences of banning nationals teams, when members of organisations of Muslim nations cannot?

The Malaysian attitude, to their own nationals of Chinese origin and to the Israelis, is deplorable.  However, history is pretty simple - if ISAF can't hold world titles in nations that do that sort of thing, there can no longer any world titles in the European Community; any of the Arab League; any of the Commonwealth; China; or the USA.

So where do we go now for ISAF world titles?  What about Russia or North Korea?   





Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 27 Jan 16 at 1:53pm
Originally posted by Richard Gladwell

Except that two wrongs don't make a right.


So ISAF and the Commonwealth should have allowed South African teams chosen on race to sail in ISAF world titles?  Our sport should effectively welcome such base conduct?

A few years back I was sitting in a lonely farmhouse in South Africa.  A relative by marriage was there.  He had been the subject of a feature story in Outside or one of those big American outdoors mags for his work in bringing down racist barriers in his sport.  He was reaching up into the rafter to read the stored diaries of people who stayed in the farmhouse when they were banned for their anti-apartheid work. Some of their friends suffered more simple punishments - one of my wife's friends had her father die in her arms when she was about 14, after he was shot in the hallway at home.  Another of the family was a national level sailor, who lost his chance to do world titles because of the Gleneagles Agreement and later UN action.  No one in the family would doubt that the loss of the chance to sail in a world titles under your own flag was a minor issue, if it helped bring about the end of such barbarity.

Whether the Malaysians had the right to take the high moral ground seems doubtful, but the issue is that this is not a simple question. Either sailing accepts that some countries will sometimes suffer action from some host nations, OR sailing risks becoming an international pariah sport as would happen if it ignored boycotts such as those organised by the Commonwealth or the European Community.  And the moral issues of allowing kids to sail against other kids who were not the best in their country, but only the best with the "right" coloured skin or the right ethnicity, is hard to overlook.

While two wrongs may not make a right, saying "OUR boycotts were fine, YOUR boycotts are not" doesn't look all that great either.  The other alternative, which is to say "we should have welcomed and cheered athletes who were chosen for their skin colour as they march under the flag of a nation that oppresses its own citizens" doesn't look crash hot either.  

I don't agree with the Malaysian stand (although I wonder whether the compromise was a reasonable one in the real world of politics) but this does appear to be a very vexed, multi-sided and complex issue rather than a simple case of ISAF being whackers.

Maybe ISAF and the Commonwealth should also issue an official apology to the apartheid regime of South Africa for banning their sailors? After all, if it was wrong to do so isn't it immoral not to apologise for the past sins?  And at least if the sport apologises to the apartheid regime ISAF will get lots and lots of press coverage.





Posted By: Presuming Ed
Date Posted: 27 Jan 16 at 2:43pm
Originally posted by Chris 249

 So where do we go now for ISAF world titles?  What about Russia or North Korea? 

Switzerland? Sweden? 


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 28 Jan 16 at 9:34am
Hmm, this is making for interesting reading.

Sweden?  Nope - they had an anti-apartheid boycott as early as 1968.

It looks as if the Swiss sporting bodies went very close to boycotting South Africa; not sure if they went all the way, and the Swiss played part in rejecting the WW1 Central Powers from the post ww1 games.

The Norwegian sports bodies boycotted the German authorities when their country was occupied - jeezers, how could they let politics (in the form of their own country being overtaken by Nazis) get in the way of sport?   

Brazil, Luxembourg and Portugal have all played their part in preventing nations from doing Olympic Games in the past, namely the Central Powers after WW1.

North Korea is looking good!






Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 28 Jan 16 at 4:25pm
Originally posted by Chris 249

North Korea is looking good!


Is this on the theory that allowing nobody into your country isn't discriminating against any particular race or religion? Sounds like a plan to me. I predict a medal glut for the home nation.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: Richard Gladwell
Date Posted: 28 Jan 16 at 10:02pm
So at what point do you guys think we should stop perpetuating this "it's OK to discriminate because it has been going on for the past 100 years" .

Or do you think it is about time to put a circuit breaker across this sort of nonsense and may stop passing this behaviour on our kids and their kids etc etc?

Or have we learned something from the last 80 years - Apartheid in South Africa, Olympic boycott of Afghanistan, 1936 Olympics etc.

And decide that we don't really have to infect Youth Sailing with these attitudes or allow them to be the tools of politicians who are quite happy to ban Israeli kids from a sport, but will turn a blind eye to serious trade with Israel to provide components for the Malaysian IT industry.

And don't forget of course that just over a year before the Youth Worlds the world body as a co-organiser put out a Notice of Race inviting all countries in good standing with the ISAF to send teams to the Youth Worlds. Then the same body sits by or is caught napping when a situation they saw coming in November 2011 eventuates. Wouldn't it have been a little more honest to say all countries except Israel are allowed to compete when they sent out their Notice of Race?

RG


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 29 Jan 16 at 12:07am
Well, if we say it has to stop now because right now there are no nations we want to boycott, then that looks suspiciously like hypocrisy. Especially as I'm damn sure that if a South Africa like scenario was to turn up again our politicos would cheerfully embarrass our sporting bodies without turning a hair if they thought there were a few votes in it. Best just to accept that its not a perfect world, and that, hard as it may be to believe, politicos have been known to give guarantees and break them, and there's not a damn thing a world sporting body can do about it. Which is probably a good thing. Would you want FIFA over-ruling the NZ government?


Posted By: Richard Gladwell
Date Posted: 29 Jan 16 at 3:19am
Weird as it may seem, in NZ at least people are sick and tired of sport being used as a cheap option by politicians. But having been through the Apartheid era 1948-1994, and then the 1980 Olympic boycott because of Afghanistan some of us at least have learned that they achieve absolutely nothing. The bans that have worked have been trade and economic sanctions.

Sorry to hear that elsewhere there are people who are keen to keep repeating history in the hope of a different outcome. 

It is not about a sports body over-ruling the NZ Govt or any other government. If the MAS and ISAF say a year out from the event that it is open at all member nations in good standing, then that is what it has to be. If host countries are going to use sport to ban athletes from Israel or anywhere else for political reasons, then at least have the guts to say so, and then see if they get allocated the event by the world body.

RG




Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 29 Jan 16 at 9:22am
"At least some of us have learned that they achieve absolutely nothing."

Have you told Niel Barnard, one of the main enforcers of apartheid?  To quote him, a boycott "turned out to be a hugely successful lever of political influence".

Have you told the University of Otago's Douglas Booth, who writes that " the deracialization of sport in the mid-1970s (under the impetus of the boycott) may have had a greater impact on the discarding of racial ideology in South Africa than commentators have thus far admitted."

Have you told South African sports administrator Arnold Stofile? He said that the "(Sporting boycott) affected all of them, every male, every household in a sports-mad country whose main source of pride regarding the rest of the world was its sports prowess"

Have you told Anthony Payne of Uni of Sheffield, who says  "Gleneagles was part of a broader movement which unquestionably had an effect on the political outlook of the Afrikaner political elite."

Have you told David Black, author of "Rugby and the South Africa nation", who says that economic sanctions did NOT do the trick in South Africa (the whites were too wealthy to be really affected) but that "the impact of sports sanctions in general, and rugby sanctions in particular, were important".

Have you told Peter Hain, recognised in two countries for his anti-apartheid work, who was one of those pushing for a boycott.

Have you told Peter Sommerville, formerly of the BBC, who notes that "on trips as a BBC journalist to South Africa between 1990 and 1995 I spoke to politicians and sportsmen from the white community, visited rugby clubs and saw the near desperation of the white, sports-mad community to be part of world sport.  Under apartheid, especially after the mid-80s, white South Africans felt isolated and knew in their hearts that apartheid was responsible......The sports boycott had its effect."

Re "If the MAS and ISAF say a year out from the event that it is open at all member nations in good standing, then that is what it has to be."

May one ask exactly how that is to be achieved, if the government decides otherwise? 

Not all of us are keen to repeat history in the hope of a different outcome.  Some see that in an imperfect world it may be OK at times to repeat the history of the South African boycott in the hope of the SAME outcome - a change in racist policies. 

Sport IS political, from the local councils giving favourable rent to local clubs, to the vast taxpayer funding of TNZ, to claims that we should sail against racist nations.  And with due respect, surely it is reasonable to listen to those who were there in the epicentre of the change in South Africa when they say that sports boycotts CAN make a difference in ending vile, racist regimes.







Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 29 Jan 16 at 9:40am
Here's an interesting twist - the USA currently restricts athletes and sporting personnel from one country. Until recently it restricted those from two. Soon it may stop ALL Muslim sailors from entering.  So where is the campaign to stop ISAF from holding world titles in the USA?

To quote the US Treasury. "Under U.S. law, all U.S. individuals and companies are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with any Cubans, including Cuban athletes such as baseball and soccer players, unless certain narrow exemptions apply."

So it seems fairly obvious - consistency demands that the US should also be prevented from holding world titles.  They cannot guarantee entry to Cubans, and if Trump gets in sailors from many countries will be banned.  That's got to be worth a story.  

One also wonders whether, in the name of consistency, sailing news websites could consider not profiting by publicising regattas held in the USA, a country that does not allow sailors from all countries to freely compete?  If it's wrong to hold world titles there (and if one believes that ISAF should not sanction titles in a country that does not allow countries from all nations to freely compete then it must be wrong) then how can it be right to report on them?

I dunno, to me it just seems to show that these things are pretty complicated and that ISAF is in a difficult position.



Posted By: Richard Gladwell
Date Posted: 29 Jan 16 at 11:03am
A few points. USA is no different from the rest of the world if any country bars sailors from competing by refusing entry visas, then they face sanctions and won't get further world or other World Sailing sanctioned regattas. The World Sailing release after the 2015 Youth Worlds debacle made that very clear.

Most countries are smart enough to have individual exemption clauses and apply them - Malaysia does and did not.

But the sailors have to want to enter  as provided by the Notice of Race - not just have someone nit pick a domestic immigration policy. The Israelis entered, filed their papers the same time as other countries and were visas weren't issued.

I'm more than comfortable with not reporting on events which discriminate - or the alternative is to inject a very prominent paragraph into each race report pointing out that two world champions were barred from competing in the Youth Worlds, which is the tack we took on Sail-World. If we say nothing and run no reports - then the even takes place and no-one is any the wiser as to why two current world champions are not featuring in the results. 

In the case of the last youth worlds, Malaysia copped more negative publicity about their discrimination, and continues to cop it - than they did positive stories about the regatta they hosted.

RG


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 30 Jan 16 at 5:20am
It's hardly "nit picking a domestic immigration policy" to point out that the USA specifically notes that sportspeople from one particular country may be excluded.

Australia effectively does it too.  The Immigration Department has a list of countries, ranked in terms of the chances that visitors will overstay their visa.  Athletes from countries with a high proportion of overstayers may be denied entry when similar athletes from other countries are allowed in.

See

http://www.thehindu.com/sport/australia-denies-visa-to-indian-lawn-bowls-team/article453483.ece


PS - good on you for publicising the odious actions of the Malaysian government, but other countries appear to be prepared to do the same thing.









Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 30 Jan 16 at 9:11am
It does get murkier the deep one delves, and I have to say that if such a proportion of countries have these policies, it becomes less surprising that ISAF have to fudge things.

Does anyone know if the UK has any such bans in place currently? Or has that already been mentioned and I've forgotten?!

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 30 Jan 16 at 9:34am
Originally posted by Rupert

...if the UK has any such bans in place currently?

These things come and go according to the latest political fads, press campaigns and focus group results... Bid umpteen years ahead for a major event and who knows what will have become a local issue by the time it happens.


Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 01 Feb 16 at 8:09pm
I think the Australian "flight risk ranking" is held at a very high secrecy level.  I used to work investigating and banning shonky migration lawyers (best job I ever had) and had powers to obtain information from the immigration department, but the "flight list ranking" was such political dynamite that it was not going to be revealed.

The other thing about the "flight list ranking" (or whatever it was called) is that I think it's calculated according to the number of people from each country and their likelihood of overstaying their visa.  That means that it can change from year to year, even without political fads etc which are of course also vital.

That means that Yachting Australia and ISAF cannot actually schedule a world title in Oz and know that all competitors will be allowed entry.  The same thing probably exists in many other countries, but whether anyone can tell ISAF the workings of such confidential systems is doubtful.  So if ISAF is only going to hold titles in countries where sportspeople from all countries have exactly the same right of access, then Australia is out, the US is out, and ISAF must spend up on immigration law specialists to find out what other countries are out.

Australian and American sailors will then never be able to have a world title at home, which seems unfair.  If two Israelis not being able to display their flag was such an issue, why is it OK for hundreds of Australian and American youths (and seniors) to NEVER be allowed to have a home worlds, because of decisions made by politicians?   What will it do for the sport as a whole if two of the major countries can no longer hold world titles?

I was reading more about the 1936 Olympics the other day.  Athletes had to report to the Nazi authorities if they spoke to Jews.  Jews, of course, were not allowed to compete on the German team (with maybe one exception).  It was a classic illustration that you don't get rid of politics in sport by allowing athletes of all nations to compete.

And as for economic boycotts being better ways of exerting pressure - that would be news to the Iranians who die because the US won't let their ageing airliners get parts, or the employees who get laid off when firms lose overseas orders. They may feel that losing their life or job is a tiny bit worse than someone losing the chance to sail.




Posted By: Chris 249
Date Posted: 01 Feb 16 at 8:51pm
It looks NZ had a ban on Zimbabwean sporting teams until a few years ago.  Does that mean that the worlds in NZ during that period should be erased from history?

Obviously the question cannot hinge on whether any person from a banned country actually entered, since that means that people must waste time and money entering a regatta they know they can't compete in. Who knows if Zimbabwean sailors lost a chance to represent their country in NZ during that time?


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 01 Feb 16 at 9:29pm
Now, if Zimbabwe had oil, it would have been invaded "for humanitarian reasons" years ago. And maybe with better reason than the efforts of the last 20 years.

Chris, I think you have shown very well that there are no right answers in any of this. What are the least wrong answers?



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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 02 Feb 16 at 10:39am
Least wrong... its a complicated philosophical question, but the Benthamite principle of greatest good to the greatest number is not the worst principle to pick.



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