Malaysia bars Israeli athletes from swim competition

Malaysia has banned Israeli competitors from taking part in a para-swimming competition this summer, citing Malaysia’s solidarity with the Palestinian people. “We will not allow them. If they come, then it is an offense,” Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stated. Malaysia is a strong supporter of Palestinian independence and does not recognize or have diplomatic relations with Israel, he said. “If they want to withdraw the championship hosting rights from Malaysia, then they can try to do so,” said Mohamad, pointing to growing pressures from the International Paralympic Committee and the Israeli Olympic Committee.