Bronze medalist windsurfer Shahar Zubari and Israel’s only medal recipient at the Beijing Olympics has stirred up a storm of controversy after referring to the Chinese as “scum” in an interview with 7 Yamim, a weekend supplement of the mass-market daily Yedioth Ahronoth. The comments made by the 20 year old athlete led the Chinese embassy in Israel to cancel the party it had planned in honour of Israeli athletes who had participated in the Beijing Games, and sent Israel’s Culture, Science and Sport Minister Raleb Majadele scrambling to send an apology to the Chinese ambassador:
“I would like to condemn the irresponsible remarks made by Shahar Zubari,” Majadele wrote.
“I would also like to emphasize that they do not reflect the views of the Israeli people on the Chinese nation,” he expressed to the ambassador.
Majadele wrote that during his stay in Beijing during the event, he discovered “a cultured, polite people who are pleasant and friendly.”
“I hope that the regrettable remarks made by Shahar Zubari do not harm the fruitful relations between our countries,” he added.
Photo of Shahar Zubari from Wikipedia