Bethlehem Marathon: the bit the BBC did not report

Here is another interesting follow-up story to Jon Donnison’s recent article on the subject of the Bethlehem Marathon. It turns out that whilst Donnison (along with the race organisers and the political NGO ‘Gisha’) was criticising the fact that a number of would-be participants in the event from the Gaza Strip were not permitted to cross into Israel, the organisers of this ‘non-political’ marathon had banned Israelis of all ethnic backgrounds and creeds from taking part. 

“If The Palestine Marathon had nothing to do with politics, it had everything to do with political warfare. It is likely the first marathon in the history of modern sports that categorically prohibited runners from Israel from taking part, banning Israeli Jews, Muslims and Druse athletes.

Palestinian Olympic committee member Itidal Abdul- Ghani told The Times of Israel on April 22, a day after the race, that “Israelis weren’t welcome to join the marathon while their military occupies Palestinian lands.” Haaretz reported that a number of Israeli runners were turned back and their registration fees returned.”

No doubt Jon Donnison is penning his follow-up article at this very moment. 

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