Friday, August 21, 2009

Anti-Defamation League Presents Venus Williams With 'Americanism' Award


While Venus clearly took the proper humanitarian position in supporting fellow player and Israeli native Shahar Peer when she was unfairly individually singled out and banned from the United Arab Emirates sponsored tournament in Dubai back in February of this year it's also equally clear that the notorious ADL is now simply USING Venus in a particularly cynical and manipulative way politically to publicly shore up their own reactionary and rather extremist Zionist position on supporting deadly right wing elements in the Israeli government who are brutally oppressing and colonizing Palestinians who are systematically being denied national sovereignty and self determination in the West Bank and Gaza. By singling out an African American for this award (in a country which not coincidentally has an African American president who is politically very critical of the Israeli right wing government because of their unjust treatment of the Palestinian people--most notably in Obama's open opposition to the many new Jewish settlements on Palestinian land--the conservative Jewish American Anti-Defamation League is obviously sending a message that, in their skewed view ,"even a prominent African American like Venus Williams [implicitly] supports thei ADL's pro-Israel position" while the (black) President doesn't. This is reactionary and highly manipulative bullshit on ADL's part and it disturbs me greatly that Venus has been put in a position where accepting the award will give the utterly false impression that she fully supports the Israeli government's fundamental political and ideological position regarding the Palestinians, and that she by extension is opposed to the President's position (and that of millions of other people throughout this country--including many African Americans like myself!-- who don't necessarily support or agree with whatever the Israeli government does (and the ADL endorses) with respect to the Palestinian people and ther just struggle for human and national liberation.

I don't envy the trap that Venus has been put in with this award and I am very angry that the ADL is using her in this shabby and blatant manner.


ADL To Present Venus Williams With Americanism Award
By Tennis Week
Thursday, August 20, 2009

When the United Arab Emirates government denied a visa to Israel's Shahar Peer, to play the Dubai Tennis Championships in February, Venus Williams was one of several players to stand up and support Peer."All the players support Shahar," Williams said at the time. "We are all athletes, and we stand for tennis."

Next week, the Anti-Defamation League will honor Williams for her stand by presenting her with the League's Americanism Award at its headquarters in New York City.

I"n recognition of Ms. Williams' commitment to our democratic values and for standing up for equality and fair treatment for all, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, will present her the League's Americanism Award," the ADL said in a statement.

Several players - including Venus, Amelie Mauresmo, Elena Dementieva, Jelena Jankovic and Dinara Safina - all expressed support for Peer and the Tennis Channel pulled its planned coverage of the tournament as a protest against the UAE's refusal to grant Peer entry into the country.