Olympics: OCI firm against Beijing boycott

Says it opposes the notion in principal as Israel has been a victim of boycotts in the past.

olympics 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
olympics 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Olympic Committee of Israel said on Sunday that it has absolutely no intention of boycotting the Beijing Olympics in August in face of the escalating violence in Tibet. "Our position on the issue hasn't changed. We are against boycotting," OCI spokeswoman Michal Shahaf told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. "Israel has suffered from boycotting many times in the past and that's why we oppose this in principal. We're continuing all our preparations for the games and have no intention of boycotting them." The OCI's position matches the one taken by the International Olympic Committee. The IOC's president Jacques Rogge said he opposed an Olympic boycott over Tibet. "We believe that the boycott doesn't solve anything," Rogge told reporters on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. "On the contrary, it is penalizing innocent athletes and it is stopping the organization from something that definitely is worthwhile organizing." The unrest in Tibet began March 10 on the anniversary of a 1959 uprising against Chinese rule of the region. Tibet was effectively independent for decades before communist troops entered in 1950. The head of the Swiss Olympic Committee told state-owned DRS radio that he is against a boycott but wants the IOC to intervene with China over the troubles in Tibet. "The Rubicon has been crossed," Joerg Schild said. "I can't bring myself to say that we're going to go there and do sport." IOC vice president Thomas Bach said the committee will speak with China about human rights, but boycotting the games "would be the wrong way because that will cut lines of communication." AP contributed to this report.