Tennis diplomacy scores an ace in Bali

The women’s tennis tour season finale in Bali has been overshadowed by the withdrawal of US Open semifinalist Yanina Wickmayer after drawing a suspension from World Anti-Doping Association for failing to report her whereabouts to authorities. But, as I report in Asia Times, the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions provided a step on the road to better understanding between Muslims and Jews. Israel’s Shahar Peer took part in the tournament in Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, splitting her two matches. Her participation in Bali contrasts with Dubai, which denied Peer a visa earlier this year, and with 2006, when Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry denied permission for its Fed Cup team to travel to Israel for a scheduled match. If ping pong worked for the US and China, maybe tennis can help thaw relations between Indonesia and Israel.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie.

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