To the Executive Committee of the IJF
Is the International Judo Federation encourage oppression and legitimize apartheid ?
To the Executive Committee of the IJF:
Yong Sung Park
President of the International Judo Federation
33rd FL. Doosan Tower 18-12 Ulchiro 6Ka, Choong-Ku, Seoul, KOREA (100-730)
Tel : (82+2) 3398-1017 /1018 / Fax : (82+2) 3398-1020
It has come to my attention that the IJF is considering bringing disciplinary action against Iranian double world judo champion Arash Mirismaili, who refused to compete against his Israeli opponent because of his solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people.
I would like to bring to the attention of the IJF that at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, thirty-two (32) nations walked out of the Olympics just before the games were scheduled to open because the Olympic Committee failed to ban New Zealand from the games on the grounds that its national rugby team was touring racially segregated South Africa.
In the instant case, the Olympic Committee was not asked to ban Israel from the games. One person courageously stood up in the name of humanity while the Palestinian people are being collectively brutalized before the world in contravention of all international laws. Even Israel's own human rights group B'tselem has just published a report calling Israel's policies against the Palestinian people "apartheid-like," while at the same time admitting that it did not want to use a stronger tone.
As I applaud the thirty-two nations who would not participate in the Montreal games of 1976 I must also give praise to this young Iranian athlete who was guided by his own moral principles at a great personal sacrifice to him that many individuals would not be willing to do.
For these reasons, to take disciplinary action against such a noble and humane stand serves only to encourage oppression and legitimize apartheid.
Mohamed S. Kamel
Vice President of the IJF (Asia)
c/o Kodokan Judo Institute
1-16-30, Kasuga 1-chome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112, Japan
Tel : (81 + 3) 3818-5220/ Fax : (81 + 3) 3818-5009
Juan Carlos Barcos
Refereeing Director of the IJF
Fuente del Hierro 2 E - 31007 Pamplona, Spain
Tel : (34+48) 25 63 50/24 66 95 / Fax : (34+48) 17 23 31
IJF Referee Commission Member - ASIA Referee Director
All Japan Judo Federation
c/o Kodokan Judo Institute -16-30, Kasuga 1-chome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Tel : (81+3) 3818 5220 / Fax : (81+3) 3818 5009
Jacques Rogge (President of the IOC)
Château de Vidy, 1007 Lausanne, Switzerland
Tel: (41.21) 621 61 11/ Fax: (41.21) 621 62 16