Israeli Sports Minister Blasts ‘Racist’ Lebanese Athletes For Refusal to Travel with Israelis at Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 05: Neta Rivkin of Israel carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on August 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty

The Times of Israel reports: Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev on Sunday decried the Lebanese Olympic delegation’s refusal to travel on the same bus as their Israeli counterparts as “anti-Semitism” and “the worst kind of racism.”

On Friday, Lebanese Olympic athletes attempted to block the Israeli team from traveling with them to the opening ceremony, according to a report by an Israeli trainer who said he had witnessed the scene.

“I kept on insisting that we board the bus and said that if the Lebanese did not want to board as well, they are welcome to leave,” Udi Gal, the Israeli sailing team trainer, wrote in a Facebook post Friday.

“The bus driver opened the door, but this time the head of the Lebanese delegation blocked the aisle and entrance. The organizers wanted to avoid an international and physical incident and sent us away to a different bus.”

In response, Regev called on the International Olympic Committee to condemn the Lebanese delegation’s alleged actions.

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