New Olympics Chief an Israel Boycotter

The history of the Olympics movement has long been marred by a persistent strain of anti-Semitism and bias against Israel. But those who thought the unhappy memories of Berlin in 1936 and Munich in 1972 should not influence our opinion of this behemoth of global sport were just sucker-punched by the election of a new head of the International Olympic Committee. German lawyer Thomas Bach won the presidency of the IOC on a second-ballot vote in Buenos Aires yesterday and began his reign over the sports empire by pledging neutrality in the political disputes that are part and parcel of the Olympics landscape. That notion was undermined by the fact that the first congratulatory phone call Bach received was from Russian President Vladimir Putin who is counting on the IOC head to protect the 2014 Sochi Winter Games from being derailed by protests over Russia’s anti-gay laws. But the pious talk about respecting the Olympic Charter and inclusion is also given the lie by a key fact about Bach’s biography.

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New Olympics Chief an Israel Boycotter

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