Tennis: Demos threaten to disrupt Pe'er in NZ

Anti-Israel protesters demand Israel No. 1's withdrawal from Auckland tournament.

By AP
January 8, 2009 07:18
2 minute read.
Tennis: Demos threaten to disrupt Pe'er in NZ

peer sad 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Shahar Pe'er advanced to the quarterfinals of the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand on Wednesday, but made international headlines for an entirely different, and far less pleasant reason. A New Zealand protest group said Wednesday it had written to Pe'er asking her to withdraw from the WTA tournament as part of a comprehensive international boycott of Israel over the ongoing fighting in Gaza. The group, Peace and Justice Auckland, said it had received no reply from Pe'er and would protest outside the tournament venue on Thursday when the fifth-seeded player was scheduled to play her quarterfinal match against top seed and world number four Elena Dementieva. Pe'er, who was provided with extra security during her second round victory over Barbora Zahlavova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, rejected the calls, saying she could do nothing about the politics of the Middle East. "I have nothing to do with this," she said. "I'm Shahar Pe'er. I came here to play tennis. I know I'm from Israel and I'm proud of my country, and playing tennis is what I'm going to do tomorrow." Pe'er, 21, said she had tried to ignore the events in Gaza but her own brother, Shlomi, a military reservist, had been called up. "Two days ago, I was crying a bit, actually more than a bit, so it was a hard time for me," she said. "I hope as soon as possible it will end and we will all be happy, because no one wants to be in a war." Pe'er said she had never previously been the focus of protests and had even been the first Israeli to play in the Muslim country of Doha, Qatar, where she was warmly received. She added, however, that she believed the protesters had the right to express their view. "It's their choice and they are choosing what they want to do," she said. Peace and Justice Auckland said its letter to Pe'er highlighted the attacks and invasion of Gaza by the Israeli army and the heavy death toll of Palestinians. "The sports boycott of Israel is a key part of any boycott campaign because it is much more visible than a trade or investment boycott and can have an important psychological impact," protest leader John Minto said in a statement. "We saw this with the successful sports boycotts against apartheid South Africa which had a big impact in South Africa and around the world." In the doubles tournament, Pe'er and Caroline Wozniacki were knocked out in the quarterfinals, losing 6-7 (4), 6-1, 4-10 to Julie Ditty and Carly Gullickson. Thursday's anti-Israeli protest will not be the first to be held in New Zealand. A memorial monument to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Wellington was defaced with red paint during a demonstration on Monday against the IDF operation in Gaza. About 100 protesters reportedly converged at the monument in Lambton Quay, where Wellington Palestinian Group spokesman Don Carson criticized the lack of New Zealand government response, calling it weak and one-sided, and urged it to enter talks with Hamas. Members of the crowd chanted "They kill, they lie but Palestine will never die", "Allah Akbar" and "Free, free Palestine". Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said earlier that the government had called on both sides of the conflict to accept an immediate cease-fire.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

dudi sela
August 31, 2014
Sela steamrolled by Dimitrov

By ALLON SINAI