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Indonesia bans Israeli athletes, Jerusalem hits back

In March, Indonesia dropped out of hosting the FIFA U-20 World Cup after rejecting Israeli team's participation

Protesters burn an Israeli flag and a picture of then-Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during a protest against Israel outside the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, May 21, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana)

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, has banned Israeli athletes from participating at the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) meeting.

The Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs Dito Ariotedjo announced on Sunday that the Jewish state would not among the 69 countries participating in the event on the Island of Bali between Aug. 5 and 12.

Permitting all countries to participate was a key condition for allowing Indonesia to host the large international sports event. However, the Indonesian regime reportedly decided to deny entry permits for Israeli athletes, in flagrant violation of international norms. 

“I don’t see Israel [in the participants’ list]. So it won’t be a problem,” announced the Indonesian sports minister, according to the Antara news outlet. 

Meanwhile, Israel is responding to the hostile Indonesian move by pressuring international sports bodies to enable the participation of Israeli athletes. 

"After many conversations with the heads of the International Olympic Committee in recent months, a letter was sent to the President and CEO of ANOC clarifying that Israeli athletes will participate in the ANOC only if they are given equal conditions to those of other countries,” stated the Olympic Committee of Israel. 

The Israeli sports body expressed confidence that the international community would provide equal treatment of Israeli athletes in the international sports arena. 

“It should be noted that the IOC is in continuous contact with us on the matter, and we are confident that they will uphold the equality and right of the State of Israel to compete in any competition worldwide, as has been done throughout the year."

Indonesia and Israel currently do not have any diplomatic relations, despite unconfirmed reports that the large Muslim country could potentially sign an Abraham Accords normalization agreement with the Jewish state.

In March, Indonesia dropped out of hosting the FIFA U-20 World Cup after rejecting the Israeli team's participation.

Read more: INDONESIA

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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