Palestinian boxer Sultan Abu Al-Haj would rather forfeit than compete against an Israeli opponent. Al-Haj said, “It is forbidden to compete with [Israelis], because it’s beneath our dignity to compete with them and recognize them as (sic) the State of Israel.”

According to Palestinian Media Watch:

The Palestinian Olympic Committee forced a Palestinian boxer to forfeit his match and give up his chance to win a bronze medal rather than compete with an Israeli Druze boxer. The boxer told the official PA TV that it was not his decision but rather his superiors, including the Palestinian Olympic Committee, who forced him to forfeit:

Palestinian boxer Sultan Abu Al-Haj refused to compete and forfeited his match against Israeli Druze boxer Amit Madah on Aug. 8, 2017 in the under 54 kg division at the Youth Muay Thai World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand. This was the first time that the Palestinian Authority sent an athlete to compete in this tournament.

This Palestinian Olympic Committee’s demand that a Palestinian athlete not compete with an Israeli violates the spirit of the Olympics and possibly the International Olympic Committee’s Code of Ethics, Article 1.2, which demands “respect of the principle of the universality and political neutrality of the Olympic Movement.” Although this was not an Olympic event, it was the Palestinian Olympic Committee, which is a member of the “Olympic Movement,” that made the decision not to compete with Israelis.

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