Israeli tennis star gives Kiwi protestors a serve

January 5, 2010 by J-Wire
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Pro-Palestinian protestors demonstrated in New Zealand Tuesday against Israel’s top-ranked tennis star.

Shahar Peer

Shahar Peer, 22, who was due to play her opening match at the ASB Tennis Classic in Auckland, was delayed from entering the stadium by about 20 minutes after an unattended bag in the arena prompted a bomb scare.

Police said the clearance of about 500 people in the stadium and the closure of surrounding streets in the city were unrelated to the small band of protestors who had gathered outside to urge Peer to withdraw from the women’s tournament.

When play finally began, Peer, ranked No 30 in the world, won her match in straight sets.

In a media release, Global Peace And Justice Auckland said it had written to Peer asking her to withdraw from the tournament “as a demonstration of your commitment to peace” with the Palestinians.

Acknowledging it was asking her to make “a significant sacrifice” the group added: “The sacrifices being forced onto Palestinians by Israel are far greater and she should be prepared to make the sacrifice.”

Global Peace and Justice, which supports a sports boycott against Israel, staged a similar demonstration against Peer at the same event last year.

“I have nothing to do with this,” Peer said at the time. “I’m Shahar Peer. I came here to play tennis. I know I’m from Israel and I’m proud of my country.”

Stephen Goodman, president of the New Zealand Jewish Council, told J-Wire: “Shahar has had no official contact with our community or any private arrangements that I am aware of. The protest was lead by John Minto whose anti-Apartheid group disrupted the South African rugby tours in 1981 and 1986. He protested at the tennis last year. His group numbered about ten and was totally ineffective.”

Comments

One Response to “Israeli tennis star gives Kiwi protestors a serve”
  1. ilona@israel says:

    “I’m Shahar Peer. I came here to play tennis. I know I’m from Israel and I’m proud of my country.”-great answer. i am sure this protestors got nothing from this action, its just very unplesant

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