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  • Dukester

    I have a hard time getting my shorts in a knot over the Giro starting in Israel when entire stage races are conducted in countries whose governments are not democratically elected and do not serve their citizens but only the kleptocrats who muscle their way into power. In these countries, only the bravest people raise their voices against their government, and they usually end up in jail or dead. In these countries, the road to prosperity passes through the the well-lined pockets of the politicians who run the place. Governments in these countries impose laws that limit the number and sex of babies that couples are allowed to have. They screen visitors from abroad according to their religion. They exploit foreign workers and punish women who dare to rebel against their male masters. Compared to these backward gulags of repression and ignorance, Israel is a paradise.Even without the comparison, it’s a pretty nice place to ride a bike, and you don’t have to wear an oxygen tank on your back to breathe.

    • Wily_Quixote

      Just because other countries have a poor human rights record doesn’t make the Giro protest invalid. I am baffled by the argument that because Israel is democratic it ought to be immune from criticism. Most people would assert that a liberal democratic country ought to be subject to more rigorous standards, in accordance with its own democratic principles.

      I recall the Dubai race being subject to criticism on this site not that long ago. There is nothing unique with Israel being criticised for hosting a bike race on its human rights record.

      I am in Australia and I expect that someone might legitimately criticise the Tour down Under given our record on refugees.

      people have a right to make legitimate protest against human rights infringements and a sporting event is just the kind of high profile target that gets traction and notice.

      All countries that exhibit human rights abuses ought to be subject to censure. The fact that democratic countries abuse human rights should make them more open to criticism because they espouse liberty, respect for international humanitarian law and human suffrage and they ought to act as role models in this respect.

      • Dukester

        Well said. I agree.

  • zeresh geresh

    120 !!! separate human rights groups , are mobbing poor Israel ?
    interesting …. when was the last time they all ganged up on a subject ?

  • Don Cafferty

    I did not listen to the podcast because I have already started to boycott anything to do with the 2018 Giro d’Italia. Following cyclingtips November 23rd article on the subject of “Human rights groups and others call on Giro d’Italia to abandon Israel start”, I looked for additional information to try and sort out my feelings and beliefs. I took note that race director Mauro Vegni said he was aware of the political sensitivities and had drawn up the course with the “guidance” of the Italian Foreign Ministry. Whatever the correct words are, the race route is on territory held before 1967. However race information material is already being criticized because photographs include post 1967 territory as background. Mauro Vegni has said that: “The reality is that we want it to be a sports event and stay away from any political discussion.” Quite frankly, that is like asking to walk as close to the fire without accepting the heat. The payment to the Giro d’Italia must be quite large for RCS Sport to think that they can escape the heat. I have also noted that this coming weekend will see cyclists in cities across Italy ride in protest at Israel’s hosting of the Giro. I thought that an editorial at road.cc “Comment: Why I will be boycotting the Giro’s 2018 start in Jerusalem” represented some of the issues very well such as “where do you draw the line” which is what Dukester in this forum was also saying. I think that the editorial is accurate in its portrayal that “If you decide to watch the Giro next May, particularly if you attend in person, you will be making at least as much of a political statement as someone who decides not to. For nothing that the state does can exist outside of politics. Israel’s application to host the Giro d’Italia was an indisputably political act, likewise RCS’s decision to award it to them.”

    • Caley Fretz

      Your comments here echo much of the discussion in the podcast. It’s a complicated subject. Can sport rise above politics in the most politicized city on earth? That was the question we tried to answer.

  • Slightly Bmused

    Simply google “women’s cycling Palestine”,
    then google “women’s cycling Israel”

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