This week at The Dubai Semantics Championships: Israel def. Palestine, 0-6, 6-5, 6-0. The setting for the Gaza Massacre has moved to the hard court.
On Thursday The United Arab Emirates apologized for denying the Israeli Tennis player Andy Ram admittance to compete in its upcoming tournament. In a related story, Bullwinkle apologized to Snidely Whiplash for not inviting him to his birthday party.
Last week, another Israeli tennis player, Shahar Peer, sat out of the Women's draw, as the UAE declined to extend her a Visa into the country. But amid petulant cries of bigotry and anti-Semitism, The Emirates reneged on their political stance against Israel's massacre in Gaza, by inviting Andy right in for tea and strumpets.
The snub of Peer was pleasantly ignored by media vultures, until Roger Federer announced his withdrawal - citing a back problem, and Nadal followed suit - citing a testosterone problem. Then, like any initiative of political backbone against Israel, the UAE stance was severed by mumblings of the ol' two-word trump card, "anti-Semitism."
Israeli authorities expressed their anger and hewt wittle feewings that Arabs would not jeopardize the security of a menial sporting event, by welcoming a citizen of a country that just laid waste to hundreds of its people - many of them children. Ultimately, the authorities bowed to the whim of almighty Israel, after the ATP threatened to eliminate the Dubai Championships in 2010; a threat to which The Emirates collectively shit their pants and begged "please sir, may I have another."
Tony Kornheiser of ESPN called the UAE efforts "discrimination," and compared Andy Ram's persistence to the accomplishments of Arthur Ashe.
I don't know much about Andy Ram, and I'm sure he's a heck of a guy. But Arthur Ashe was a leader in the Civil Rights movement, won 3 Grand Slams, founded the NJTL (which brought tennis to thousands of communities across America, and to me personally) was an adamant warrior against AIDS, and was fearlessly anti-apartheid in South Africa. It's reasonable then, to assume he would not be pro-apartheid in the Middle East - the same apartheid inflicted by the Israelis in Gaza, which Dubai took its brief, wavering stand against.
More than today's game needs Ashe's brilliant career and inspiring accomplishments, it needs a violent injection of his common sense, and striking ability to care about something more than himself-- in a sport of singles.