The 2013 World Youth Chess Championships just held in Abu Dhabi have been marred by the scandalous behaviour of the 120 national Chess Federations that agreed to compete against Israeli players as an unidentified group under the banner of FIDE - the World Chess Federation.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) like most Arab countries, does not recognize Israel. In 2009, the country denied Israeli tennis player Shahar Pe'er a visa to compete in the Dubai Tennis Championships, garnering widespread condemnation.
The invitation to compete was clear and unambiguous:
The UAE Chess Federation and Al Ain Chess Club, under the auspices of FIDE, have the honor to invite all FIDE member federations to participate in the World Youth Chess Championships 2013 (Under 8, 10,12, 14, 16 and 18 years old – open and girls) scheduled 17 (arrival) – 29 (departure) December 2013 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
Somewhere thereafter the World Chess Federation became a willing player in excluding Israeli children aged 8-18 playing under their national flag and national identity.
Palestine - a member state of UNESCO whilst still claiming to be stateless - has been calling for inane and senseless academic and economic boycotts to be instituted against Israel in support of Palestinian statehood.
Yet Palestine is a member of the World Chess Federation and was represented by two players whose country was designated as "Palestine".
The ultimate insult to individual Israeli competitors was the failure to list their country as "Israel" in the players' biographies. Instead they were identified as citizens of "FIDE" - a place with no Capitol, area or population.
Palestinian competitors fared slightly better - players at least having their country identified as "Palestine" in their biographies - although that country too is listed without a Capitol, area or population.
One would be hard put to find a more blatant case of discrimination, racism and apartheid - - played out against children to boot.
What mindless morons representing Chess Federations in competing countries like America, Australia, England, Norway, Sweden, Canada and France allowed this farce to be perpetrated?
What have their Governments had to say about this pernicious and underhanded behaviour?
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