Kuwaiti fencer Abdulaziz Alshatti has withdrawn from the 2023 Fédération Internationale d'Escrime (FIE) Senior World Cup contests in Turkey to avoid facing an Israeli contestant over support for the Palestinian cause and refusal of normalization with the Tel Aviv regime.
The 32-year-old athlete pulled out of the competitions in Istanbul as soon as he found out he was scheduled to take on an Israeli competitor.
انسحب اللاعب الكويتي عبدالعزيز الشطي من بطولة كأس العالم للمبارزة في تركيا، بسبب مشاركة لاعب صهيوني في نفس مجموعته، قائلا: “ثقتي بالله كبيرة، والخير قادم بإذنه، وكرمه لا يتأخر، بل يأتي في الوقت المناسب، الحمد لله على كل حال، قدر الله، وما شاء فعل”#التطبيع_خيانة pic.twitter.com/EORktIUzzy— شباب القدس- الكويت (@Q8_4_Quds) May 19, 2023
“I withdrew from the tournament because of the presence of a representative from the Zionist entity in the same group,” Alshatti wrote in an Arabic-language post published on his Instagram page.
He added, “My trust in God is great, and goodness is coming with His permission. His generosity is not delayed, but rather comes at the right time.”
Back in November 2018, Alshatti quit the World Fencing Championship in Switzerland over a draw that set him on course for a match-up against an Israeli opponent.
Last September, Kuwaiti karate fighter Mohammad al-Otaibi withdrew from the 2022 Karate 1-Premier League contests in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku not to face an Israeli contestant.
Otaibi was set to participate in the male kumite 60-kilogram division of the international tournament. He, however, pulled out of the competitions as soon as he found out he was scheduled to take on Israeli competitor Ronen Gehtbarg.
In May 2021, Kuwait’s National Assembly unanimously approved bills that outlaw any deals or normalization of ties with the Tel Aviv regime.
On August 18, 2020, 37 Kuwaiti lawmakers called on their government to reject a normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Anti-Israeli sentiments run high in Kuwait. A poll conducted in 2019 by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, an American think tank, showed that 85 percent of Kuwaitis oppose normalizing ties with Israel.
In recent years, an increasing number of athletes from Arab and Muslim countries have avoided facing Israeli opponents in international competitions in support of the Palestinian cause.
They view the participation of Israeli athletes in sports events as a scheme to help the Tel Aviv regime gradually normalize its relations with Muslim and Arab nations despite its brutal occupation of Palestine and its relentless crimes against Palestinians.