High Jump Champ Attacked for Representing Israel

Stand for Israel  |  July 10, 2019

Support for Israeli high jumper Hanin Nasser
Support for Israeli high jumper Hanin Nasser

Even though Hanin Nasser is an Israeli track and field champion, she has been attacked for competing for the Jewish state because she is also Arab. The Jerusalem Post’s Sonia Epstein reports on this latest instance of anti-Israel bias, but also the online support Nasser has received from youth of all faiths:

Hirak Haifa, an Israeli-Arab youth activism group in Haifa, targeted decorated high-jumper Hanin Nasser for betraying “the voice of her people and the voice of truth” in representing Israel in the upcoming 2019 European Athletics U23 Championships.

“We condemn her representation of the Zionist entity that uprooted our people and is using her as a fig leaf to cover up the racism and crimes of Israel,” Hirak Haifa wrote in a recent post on social media. The NGO also sent Nasser a personal letter, calling for her to withdraw from the competition…

“While we are proud of you as a gymnast with a promising future in this sport, we are shocked that you would represent the Occupation,” the letter said, according to The Jewish Press, adding that Nasser is “jumping on the wounds of our Palestinian nation” with her high-jump.

Nasser, 22, is a Muslim woman from Arrabe, an Israeli-Arab city in the Lower Galilee. She won the Maccabi championship a few weeks ago when she set a personal record jumping 1.79 m., the ninth highest score in Israel’s history…

In response to these statements, the Israeli Athletics Association said that “there is no room for politics” in sports.

“Sports are a platform for unity and bringing people together,” it said. “We are proud of Hanin and are pleased that she is representing us abroad and wish her the best of luck in the competition.”

The group Together – Vouch for Each Other, comprised of Muslim, Christian and Druze youth, photographed themselves with signs of support and sent messages of encouragement to Nasser.