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The history of the Asians games (Asiad), dates back to 1951. The Asian games which are also known as Asiad are multi-sports events that are held after every four years among the athletes from the entire continent of Asia. These games operate under the regulation of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). They are supervised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The medals of these games are awarded in each of these events where gold is awarded to the first winner, silver and bronze to the second and third winners respectively. These competitions are joined by National Olympic Committees (NOC) so as to represent their various nationalities. In the awarding of the winners, the national anthems and the flags of the respective nations are hosted honor of those nations. The first of these kinds of games were held in 1951 in New Delhi and hosted again in the same country in 1982. The most recent of these games were held from 1st December to the 15th of the same month in 2006, while the 16th games will be held in November 12th of 2010 in Guangzhou China (Astana- Almaty, 2009).
Israel and Asian Games
Israel is a country located at the western side of Asia and at the Eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Israel boarders Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt; It’s predominantly a Jewish country. Over the years Israel has encountered vast detests from most of Asian countries owing to the fact that it is not an Islamic countries as many of Asian countries and its conflict with Palestine. The reason behind the formation of the Asian games was to use a new type of competition in which Asia dominance should not be shown by violence rather strengthened by mutual understanding.
In 1948 during the fourteenth Olympic Games held in London, Dutt Sondhi made a proposal to the IOC representative’s of Asia sports to be holding Asian games in order to enhance Asian teams’ relationship. They came to a consensus of the need to form Asian Athletic Federation. Immediately a committee to draft the charter was formulated. In 1949 the Asian Games Federation was launched and agreed to hold the first games in New Delhi in 1951. It was not until 1962 that a conflict emerged as to whether Israel and China should be included in the Asian Games. The host of Asian Games refused to allow the participation of Israel and China into the games owing to the fact that China had its own republic: People’s Republic of China (Astana- Almaty, 2009).
Background of the problem
Constant disagreements continued over the Arabia countries in opposition of China and Israel. There was a conflict in the Asian Games federation after the United States of America and others countries formerly made recognition of People’s Republic of China and Asian nation’s opposition to Israel. The conflicts between Bangladesh and Pakistan in 1977 made Pakistan withdraw from hosting the games as Thailand agreed to take over from Pakistan. The constant conflicts between these nations made the NOC decide to do a revision of the Asian Games federation constitution. This led to a formulation of a new association: Olympic Council of Asia. By then India was already prepared to host the 1982 games. The newly formulated OCA decided to continue with the already set timetable. It was not until the following games that were held in China: Taiwan that OCA decided to permanently exclude Israel as a member of the Asian games requesting it to join the European Competition (Astana- Almaty, 2009).
Conflict with India
The long term conflict between some of the Asian countries versus Israel had a great role to play towards the exclusion of Israel form the Asian games. For example when Israel was established and formerly recognized by international community, India was compelled to respond to the newly immerging political realities of the Middle East. It was not until much pressure, deliberation and persuasion form Israel and Pro Arab legacy that India agreed to give de jure recognition to the Jewish state on September 18th 1950. This was followed by opening of trade offices in Bombay leading to the first Consul in 1953. What had started as a routine issue later turned to be a controversial foreign policy question (Ganguly, 2003).
Ganguly (2003, p. 195) has argued that “gradually a host of regional development and international trends prevented a meaningful interaction and understanding between India and Israel. The absence of ties drew widespread criticisms in both India and Abroad. The emerging friendship between Nehru and Egyptians president Gamal Abdul Nasser turned out to be the turning point in India’s attitude towards Israel”. Nehru perceived the Egyptian leader as a leader of Arab nationalism and as a symbol of anti colonial struggle in the Middle East. Nasser had a commitment to socialism and secularism as well as opposition to United States’ backed military alliances. This earned him Nehru’s support and appreciation. Nehru had been enraged by the Israeli invasion of Sinai in 1956 as well as her collaboration with the colonial powers. This led him to rule out any diplomatic ties with Israel. The matters deteriorated making India draw closer to Arabs as it separated itself from Israel.
Anti Israel move
The constant conflicts between India and Israel led to an international arena of opposition towards Israel. Many countries that were neutral towards the conflict started to capitalize on the benefits they would obtain by siding with India and Palestine. The countries that had previously benefited from security as well as economic aid from Israel decided to adopt an anti- Israel position in public to win the heart of Palestinians (Ganguly, 2003).
The Afro Asian community from 1955 when Israel was excluded from Bandung conference became high critiques of Israel. Soviet Union and all its allies provided a strong ideological foundation for opposition to Israel launching an anti-Israel rhetorical political approach; which became the fashion for many Asian nations. This led to India adopting unfriendly posture towards anything associated with Israel making use of every available opportunity to publicly condemn Israel at the same time establishing credentials among the Arabs. Nasser’s defeat in 1967 war on religious radicalism and Islamic resurgence as well as the pro- Pakistan stand that had been adopted by the principle powers in the Middle East did not make any significant dent in the Indians antagonistic position towards Israel (Ganguly, 2003).
The Ban of Israel
The reinstatement of Indira Gandhi brought in the upgrading of Palestinian mission to New Delhi to a fully fledged embassy conferring all diplomatic immunities and privileges. This facilitated to the languishing of Israel consul in Bombay, where even minimal representation of Israel was curtailed after a media interview to Israel consul Yossef Hasseen in 1982 who criticized the Indians for competing with Pakistan in according favors to the Arabs. These criticisms were not taken on a light note by the Middle East alliances; they enraged the anti- Israel states propelling them to declare Haseen ‘persona non grata’. From then denial of visas to citizens and Israel governments’ official to attend international conferences or even sports hosted by India and anti- Israel nations became very frequent. Later in 1982 Israel was overtly excluded from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) which is the supreme body of sports in the Asian continent (Ganguly, 2003).
Root of the problem
Vyv Simson and, Andrew Jennings (1992) have argued that the formation of the Asian Games federation in New Delhi by the Asian countries that had a commonality in the western history was supposed to be a stage for regional games every four years. The countries that dominated these formulations were Ceylon, Burma, Pakistan, Philippines, Israel, Thailand Indonesia, and India all of which had once been colonies to collapsed British colonial empires. All along every thing was working for the good of all the countries hence the International Sports Federation had no reason to be alarmed until in 1960 when Indonesia was supposed to be hosting the 4th Asian Games in Jakarta. Those who were organizing declared that they would not give visas to any competitor from Israel. They argued that they were following the lead that had been introduced by Samaranch’s Mediterranean Games. Israel was reinstated back to the games one year after those games for the first Asian Olympics in Tokyo. Simson and, Jennings have identified that the pressure to exclude Israel from the games was coming from Arab nations in the Gulf who were eager to accord their support for Palestine (Simson & Jennings, 1992).
Arabic Gulf Nations- Israel
Israel competitors were allowed to participate in the Asian Games for the last time in the Bangkok 1970’s games. The Arabic Gulf nations were contracting their political Muscles. When the Arabs did not succeed in using their military to drive all the Israelites to the sea they decided to take the root of formulating policies that inflict pain to Israel. One of the formulas that they employed was creating a sporting ghetto. This expulsion of Israel from the Asian games grew in direct proportion to the increase in Gulf’s wealth from their trading in the oil from Arab’s oil states. They were doing a campaign of distorting sports and sport politics of Israel throughout the continent of Asia (World Muslim Conference, World Muslim Congress, 1981)
The fight between the Arabs and Israel became a permanent struggle for the Asian federation to the funding and organizing the regional games. A tidal wave of money began to flood down through the Persian Gulf to South China Sea. It ensured that all the principle leaders, consisting of the majority members, were swept off the sports leadership of Asia. All the principles were offered all that they desired which included the funding of events for all the sports activities and facilities, funding of conferences, the air tickets for the competitors and all the other expenses. They went ahead to bribe the officials who would attend the conferences so as to be in their support against Israel. They had one thing in mind, which is the policy that they were trying to sell all the nations that they were bribing; to abolish the Asian games federation replacing them with games organized by the Arabic nations which was an anti-Israel move; to remove the Israel from the picture of the Asian games (Simson & Jennings, 1992).
The strategies were laid at the games held in Tehran in 1974. Saudi Arabia in coalition with Fahd offered to fully sponsor the games that were to follow in Thailand. This act of ‘kindness’ enabled them to be very influential over the various activities that were to be involved in the games administration. This was a clear way for them to implement their goal. During the Bangkok games in 1978 the organizers under the influence of the Arabians made an announcement that Israel were allowed to attend. But there was a limitation as it appeared in the print that was send to Israel that they were only to send the officials who were to be present in the official opening and closing of the games; no competitor was to attend the event (Simson & Jennings, 1992).
Sheik Fahd Role
The Arab war against Israel continued to pressure Israel to ensure they were completely out of the picture. The general secretary of Singapore national Olympic Committee Mr. Sathiavan Dhillon who was a very key player in the Asian Sports politics was expected to be of help to Israel; deliver them from the trap of the Arabs. He turned out to be an ally to the Arabs evident that he had been bribed by Sheik Fahd who was behind all the trickery push of Israel. Sathiavan Dhillon told the Israelites officials that Mr. Fahd was a good organizer of sports who had facilitated the re-drafting of the Asian games constitution and had cooperated with IAAF in arriving at a conclusion that 1978 games should be hosted in Bangkok with the exclusion of Israel.
From this position that the IAAF took suctions towards Israel and barred her from competing in the Asian games. In the following subsequent years many anti- Israel countries continued to volunteer to fund the Asian Games. Kuwait volunteered to give $15 million in the funding of the New Delhi games in 1982. The Arabs allies and Kuwait chipped in promising to fund the subsequent games; Mediterranean games to be held in Casablanca in 1983 (Simson & Jennings, 1992).
Fahd was one of the most key players in the exclusion of Israel from OCA. He was a son of a royal rich family and had managed to divert himself initially with his army rank and exceptional appetite in the field of sports. He was known to be a player of all kinds of sports until his increased cinch drove him to a position for an administrator. Thereafter he decided to engage in the sports activities of Kuwait: Kuwait Sports Federations in an attempt to collect them. He managed to take over the control since he was rich and could easily buy his way to whatever field he felt like. He was in charge of Kuwait’s soccer, fencing, handball, basketball and volleyball determining who would be the administrators and organization of events. This were in is initial stages of strategizing how he would hit Israel out of Asian Olympic games. He managed to rise to a position of the president of Asian national Olympic committee; a position which was a great achievement towards advancing is course against Israel. This was a gift to the Al-Sabah family. The family was also at a great disposal of endless taxes from the oil fields. Most of these revenues were used to buy votes so as to gain the control of the Asian sports hence positioning Kuwait to a position of immense impact in the world of sports politics (Haynes & Archibald, 1991).
Yair (2007) have argued that the reason as to why Fahd had decided to dispense these donations is because he had realized that to control the entire Asia was very easy if only he could manage to get all the scandals like Israel out of the picture. He knew it would be easier to buy his way into IOC. Kuwaitis were now able to seek Israel enemies in order to make sports agreements with them. They managed to get communist countries like USSR, Hungary and China on their side. They continued to pour more oil money in the Olympic pressure points. In 1981 the IOC president toured the Gulf nations in the entourage of Fahd. Fahd explained to the president that Arabs were also entitled to IOC membership arguing that he was the most suitable candidate for that position. In the whole of summer the same year Fahd was widely tipped to join the IOC which he willingly did in Baden-Baden during the September session. At that time Israel was denied IOC membership so that the rich Arabs would not be offended. It was only one nation that made an attempt to come to their rescue since ghetto walls were already in place (Yair, 2007).
During an IAAF special congress held in Rome in 1981Israel requested to be allowed to move out of the Asian area and join the European area. Only Japan backed Israel in the plea. The Israelites felt that in the European circle they would not be decimated against and they would be able to attend all the meetings. Instead the Japanese proposals was defeated as the IAAF went ahead to recognize Palestine. Everything was working in line with the plans of Fahd for there was a prospect of successful Asian games in Delhi to be held at the end of 1982. Fahd was to be crowned for the successful victory against Israel with the backing of India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. He also had very high hopes of the backing from China, North Korea and Mongolia since in his battle against Israel he had a majority locked up. Indians organizers developed unfounded grounds for refusing Israel to attend the games arguing that they were not in a position to provide sufficient security owing to the fact that Israelites always travels under a cover of armed bodyguards; this argument was thin and not viable for the restriction (Oswald, 1981).
Asian games (Asiad) have a long history in Asian countries. They are multi- sports that are held once every four years by athletes from the whole of Asia. The games which are regulated by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) are supervised by International Olympic Committee. They date back to 1951. They were formed in Asian countries after the Second World War. Israel that used to be part of these games does no longer participate in them after it was excluded in 1982 (Astana- Almaty, 2009).
The exclusion of Israel from these games has a long history. Over the years Israel has lived in constant conflict with its neighbors as well as with many Asian nations. The conflict between India and Israel made many nations adopt an anti- Israel position. India was in support of Palestine as a nation which was opposed to Israel’s stand. India managed to amass enough strength against Israel a position that drove many Asian nations to despise Israel.
Arabic Gulf states were in constant conflict with Israel. The situation continued to worsen with any success of Israel in the games. These nations had an intention of finishing the nation of Israel because of her religious and political position. Israel had over the years partnered with the enemies of the Gulf countries hence the desire to get Israel out of the picture was solely political and practically religious. The conflict that led to the gulf nations employing vast resources to get Israel out of Asian conflicts Started as a political and nationalist conflict. It was basically a territorial ambition conflict after the collapse of Ottoman Empire (Simson & Jennings, 1992).
Fahd who was a very influential and rich Arab leader from the royal family was in a position to have a great influence towards the exclusion of Asian Games. He was amassing a lot of wealth from the revenues of Gulf Oil countries. He managed to get the support of China, North Korea and Mongolia in finishing his mission (Haynes & Archibald, 1991).
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