Tennis And Terrorism

By Patrick

Douglas Robson questions whether two Israeli tennis players were denied entrance to a Dubai tournament:

It’s not as if authorities in Dubai are incapable of providing top-level protection to visitors. After all, President Bush traveled to Dubai last month. My source explained that the issue wasn’t so much the capability but rather the extent to which the tournament would have had to go to protect the Israelis, other players and fans at the tournament site. That's a legitimate concern. The source said the tournament should be given the benefit of the doubt, at least for now, since Erlich and Ram didn’t push the envelope and go. But that leeway should not extend indefinitely. “They were definitely discouraged but they were not stopped because they decided not to get on the airplane," said the source. "There’s nothing that says they can’t be discouraged. The tournament would say it has a moral obligation to let them know if they are at risk.” That argument could mean the ATP and tournament organizers are technically off the hook, but again, we don't know all the facts, and may never. The underlying question is whether the Israelis would have been allowed into the UAE. It should be noted that the tournament owner is Dubai Duty Free, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the government of Dubai.

His accompanying article is here.