Will Israel be banned from Paris Olympics 2024 just like Russia?

Russia was banned from the Paris Olympics 2024 due to their conflict with Ukraine

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HANNA MINENKO and Yaakov Toumarkin lead the Israeli delegation of athletes at the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, in which the country captured four medals.—Reuters/file
HANNA MINENKO and Yaakov Toumarkin lead the Israeli delegation of athletes at the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, in which the country captured four medals.—Reuters/file

As the countdown to the 2024 Olympics in Paris ticks away, an article in The Nation probes the possibility of Israel facing a ban from the event due to its involvement in the Gaza conflict.

The piece, known for its progressive stance, examines the parallels with Russia's recent Olympic ban and speculates on whether Israel's athletes might be compelled to compete under a neutral flag.

Drawing attention to the IOC's decision to ban Russia as a nation from the upcoming Olympics, the article raises questions about the potential consequences for Israel. It contemplates scenarios where Israeli annexation of territories with Palestinian sports organisations could prompt the IOC to insist on neutral participation.

The article contends that the IOC's track record, as seen with FIFA's indifference to Israeli military actions against Palestinian soccer players, could influence its stance.

Highlighting the IOC's tendency to cite "neutrality" as justification for overlooking human rights violations, the article accuses the committee of treating Palestinians as a disposable population. 

It suggests that if Israel proceeds with annexations in the West Bank or Gaza, the IOC might face pressure to designate Israeli athletes as neutrals, mirroring the action taken against Russia.

The piece quotes Ken McCue, a member of the Irish group Insaka-Ireland, expressing a sentiment echoed by some in Ireland—calling for a potential Olympic ban on Israel, drawing parallels to past instances involving Russia and South Africa. 

The article underlines the IOC's diplomatic challenge and raises ethical questions about its approach to geopolitical conflicts and human rights issues in the context of the Olympic Games.