German politicians urge canceling event with Malaysia over ban on Israeli athletes

“Homophobia and anti-Semitism cannot be a partner country. This regime must not be courted,” said Volker Beck of Germany’s Green Party, referring to Malaysia.

by David Jablinowitz, World Israel News

A prominent member of Germany’s Green Party has called for a stop to cooperation with Malaysia after that country announced a ban on Israeli athletes from an international tournament in his country.

Volker Beck urged Berlin Mayor Michael Müller and other local officials to cancel a travel trade fair because Malaysia is the partner country in running the event. “This regime must not be courted,” Beck stated.

The trade fair, which is billed as the largest such event in the world, is scheduled to take place in Berlin March 6-10.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced that Malaysia will deny visas to Israelis, barring them from participating in the 2019 World Para-Swimming Championships scheduled to take place in Kuching, Malaysia, July 29 – August 4. The defiant prime minister insisted that he would stand by the decision even if the International Paralympic Committee moved the tournament out of Malaysia because of the ban.

Speaking Friday before Oxford University’s prestigious debating chamber, the Oxford Union, Mohamad said that “a country has the right to keep its borders closed to certain people; that’s why borders are there.”

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“Many countries today are seeing outsiders coming to their country and they are not very happy about it. They are overthrowing their governments because their governments allow immigrants to come in,” Mohamad said Friday in a discussion session posted to Facebook.

The prime minister added that he doesn’t “think that they should come to our country because we have no relations with them.”

Israel lobbied to stop the Malaysian ban. It is not clear whether the international authorities will take action.

Michaele Engelmeier of Germany’s Social Democratic party, also incensed by Mohamad’s ban, called for the cancelation of sports events in Malaysia. “The International Paralympic Committee must act as host. The right reaction can only be the cancelation in Malaysia and a new contract,” she said.