Israeli Paralympic Swimmers Denied Entry to Malaysia for Worlds

Sep 8, 2012; London, United Kingdom; An Israel flag flies above Centre Court during a match between David Wagner (USA) and Noam Gershony (ISR) during the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Eton Manor. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports

Israel’s Paralympic swim team will not be permitted to enter the country of Malaysia for the World Para Swimming Championships in July, YNet News reported.

Malaysia’s official religion is Islam and it is the latest Islamic nation to deny entry to Israeli athletes by denying the entry visas.

The results of the world event will factor into qualifying for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. More than 600 swimmers from 70 countries are expected — but now, not Israel.

The directors of the Israel Paralympics Committee have tried to involve the Sports and Culture Ministry, in an effort to obtain visas, but have yet to receive a response, YNet News reported.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohammad recently criticized the Australian government’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, stating: “Jerusalem has always been Palestinian territory and it must remain in its current status,” according to YNet News.

The chairman of the Israeli Olympic Committee, Nisim Sasportas, told Ynet: “For some time now we have been trying to guarantee our participation in the world championships. In principle, everyone says that it will work out, but we have still not received an invitation or visas. We are continuing to apply pressure. We have letters of support from the International Paralympics Committee, the European Paralympics Committee and the Olympic Athletes Committee, and hope that they allow the athletes and their security entourage to participate.”


  1. Rich Davis

    Then the World Championships need to be moved immediately. If you host a world event then ALL the world is invited.
    As in the last Olympics when an Iranian judo fighter (I believe) refused to fight an Israeli. He was DQ’d, nuff said.

    • avatar
      Renee Gaines Loftspring

      Thank you for your comment. I completely agree. The world events are for everyone in the world thus the world’s athletes should all be somewhere they are all welcomed.

  2. Rob Duguay

    I’m sorry but sport is supposed to transcend politics.

    These are athletes not diplomats let them swim whether or not you agree with the politics of their country.

    • avatar
      Bikinis not Burkas

      It is not politics it is evil Islam!

  3. avatar
    Mark Eisenman

    What a world. DISABLED athletes being denied a chance after all their, for all we know there might even be Muslim (Arab) Israeli citizens on the team.
    It’s a crime this anti Semitic Malaysian decision.

  4. avatar
    Mark E.

    What a world. DISABLED athletes being denied a chance after all their hard work.
    For all we know there might even be Muslim (Arab) Israeli citizens on the team.
    It’s a crime, this anti Semitic Malaysian decision. Sad times.

  5. Tamara Kluger Jacobson

    This is an OUTRAGE! Championship meets should not be held in countries that do not welcome everyone. The meet should be canceled if all participants are not allowed to compete. Otherwise it is sham. As supporters of swimming we should all stand against this.

  6. Jason Matthew Renshaw

    Malaysia should be banned from all international competition across all sports until they wake up to themselves……

  7. MK Mahoney

    Who is this real? If it is its disgraceful

  8. Joe Barnhart

    I hope Malaysia allows entry to all competitors. They might find their country “DQed” from all future international competitions.

  9. avatar

    Change the. Venue. For some unknown reason, international sports continues to pick countries to hold international events that have a poor record of human rights.
    This is the world we live in. Less and less humanity, more and more politics. Shameful.

  10. Diane Weber

    International sporting events should never be held in countries with a history of poor human rights.. Nothing is scared from politics. We live in a cruel world. Life has been kinder and gentler in times past.

  11. avatar
    Sonia Reines

    In 1936 the Nazis banned Jews from the Olympics. Now in 2019 we have another banning of Jews from a world sports event. The participating countries should demand a change of venue.

  12. avatar

    In 1936 the Nazis banned Jews from the Olympics. No country should be banned from from a World sporting event. The participants need to demand that or move
    event from present country.

  13. avatar

    Why don’t they move it to the U.S. or Australia, they could probably put together something on short notice.

  14. avatar

    Good job Malaysia. Never allowed Israel people to go in your country. For me I don’t know Israel is a country! I only know Palestine. Even in Google maps I don’t see Israel. I only can see Palestine.

    • avatar

      Clearly your Google is being censored by your repressive government then.

    • avatar

      From Australia, Isreal is certainly on my Google Earth. Roberto your government must censor your map.

      BTW Is that Hamas Palestine or Fatah Palestine you refer to. They hate each other. They have get their act together before anyone talks about any recognition of Palestine.

      As an Australian, I note it was Malaysia which strongly objected to Australia establishing its embassy in Jerusalem.

      Rather than telling the world what it should be doing, Malaysia should be more fully investigating what happened to its Malaysia Airlines FL370 which inexplicably ended up in the Indian Ocean.

      I and my friends will NEVER go to Malaysia.

    • avatar
      Bikinis not Burkas

      Sh1t for brains!

    • avatar

      Roberto, you should study history a little better, to understand how you have been brainwashed, you poor ignorant person.

  15. avatar

    The event has to be moved. Speaking as a Malaysian, I am angered and ashamed by the actions of my government. It is a world event for starters, the host does not get to decide who is or isn’t a part of it. Secondly, sport must and should transcend politics if for nothing else that it may be the last remaining bridge between indefatigable opponents.