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All comments by Richard Willey
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>Mr Willey, what is it that you maintain regarding
>”the host country“ (USA)?

The initial thread discussing this whole brou-ha-ha was titled “Banned in Bali”. My very first post in this thread started as follows:

> 1. I feel (strongly) that any country that refuses entry
>Visa’s to members of a team should not be allowed to host a
>WBF Championship. The same should true be it Indonesia
>refusing Visa’s to members of the Israeli team or the United
>States refusing Visa’s to members of the Pakistani team.
>With this said and done, I agree with Michael Rosenberg’s
>observation that we can’t really know what would happen
>without a test case. I'd also want to understand why its
>possible for Israeli tour groups and businessmen to get
>Visa's but why its so difficult for the bridge team.
Aug. 8, 2013
Richard Willey edited this comment Aug. 8, 2013
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>But, why are you so determined to ignore a flagrant outrage
>and surrender without a fight? Indonesia has effectively >barred the Israeli Women's team, eliminated the Israeli >seniors through intimidation, and is working on banning an >American player.

Earlier during the conversation, George Jacobs notes that Israeli players are planning on traveling to Bali and participating in the transnational teams…

I think that this is a fairly significant point wrt the “forced to withdraw” claim.
Aug. 8, 2013
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Roland wrote:

>Nothing new there, David. If you are big enough (USA),
>you can power your way to the right result for your side.
>If you are small and insignificant (Israel), you stand no
>chance when you don't have your organisation (WBF) to back
>you.

>This is the crux of the matter. WBF is prepared to fight for
>USA (excellent!), less so regarding Israel as we have seen so
>clearly. Tragic.

What a load of crap.

The USA is (apparently) going to be able to get a visa issued to a player. Israel was able to reach an accommodation to get visa's issued to its team members. There is no difference in treatment.

Throughout this entire proceeding, you have been continually obfuscating the visa issue and the security issue. If you can't manage to get this right by now, you're either an idiot or being deliberately dishonest. (Though I wouldn't rule out the a combination of the two)
Aug. 7, 2013
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> Now you tell me what I lied about?

Let's start with the following comment in your previous email:

“a country that has by coincidence excluded and a lady's team, and a senior team, and an individual player from playing in those finals!”

1. Migry will be playing. That's lie 1.
2. The WBF never extended an invitation to the Israeli Senior's team. That's lie 2.


Aug. 7, 2013
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Slot allocation is based on population. I hardly think that moving Israel from Zone 1 to Zone 2 would shift enough people to cause a slot to move…
Aug. 7, 2013
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Tracy, just to be clear

1. No invitation was ever extended to the Israeli senior team. You can't claim that the Indonesian government excluded this team.

2. The Israeli government blocked the Venice Cup team from attending because of issues regarding security. I readily agree that the Indonesian government shares some of the blame, but the decision was made by the Israelis. In particular, please note Jacobs comments that some Israeli citizens are planning to attend and participate in the Transnational teams.

3. The latest posts strongly suggest that Migry Zur Campanile will be issued a visa.

Simply put, your never ending series of hyberbolic lies really doesn't help your cause.
Aug. 7, 2013
Richard Willey edited this comment Aug. 7, 2013
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>I don't see how you blame Indonesian bridge players for the
>actions of their government. I would not be in favor of
>banning them from competing for any period of time.

I used the word “Death Penalty” for a reason. Here in the US, when the management structure of a college sports team violates NCAA regulations, the penalty often falls upon the players. I agree that this isn't perfect, but I don't think that this type of penalty falls beyond the pale.

If we want to use a more international example, during the apartheid era, South Africa was often barred from participating in international sporting competitions. I fully supported this type of boycott.
Aug. 7, 2013
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Throughout this sordid little affair I have maintained that the host country (Indonesia) has an obligation to grant visa’s to any player participating in the championship. If the Indonesian consulate is refusing to grant an entry visa to Migry Zur Campanile based on her nationality, this crosses the line for me.

I’m not sure what the best way to proceed might be. I would hope (and fully expect) that its possible to find a solution by which Campanile is granted a visa. If this doesn’t prove possible, I am torn regarding the appropriate course of action. My immediate reaction is

1. The WBF should not cancel the event at this late date. They have an obligation to all the teams planning to participate. However, Indonesia should receive a “death sentence”. No right to host WBF events for <foo> years. No right to enter teams in WBF competitions for <bar> years.

2. If it is possible to change the venue at this late date without financial cost to the other teams participating, I think that this is a reasonable way to proceed.

3. I don’t think that it is unreasonable for the USBF to decide to boycott the event. Even if the USBF decides to participate, I wouldn’t blame individual members if they decide to proceed. (Nor would I consider it unreasonable if other teams decided to withdraw in protest)

With this said and done, I expect that this whole thing to blow over relatively quickly… The Indonesian government was willing to issue visa’s to the Israeli team. I see no reason why they wouldn’t do the same for Campanile.
Aug. 7, 2013
Richard Willey edited this comment Aug. 7, 2013
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The fact that Israeli teams are currently competing in international events does not contradict cited story. Early during the discussion, someone mentioned that the Israeli team faced some kind of deadline where they either needed to confirm that they would be attending the event or withdraw. The Israeli's chose to withdraw.

I have no idea whether the basketball team or the swimming team that you cite were in a similar position at the same time.

Aug. 3, 2013
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I have a different reaction to this story than Judy's…

I don't think that it's reasonable to expect the WBF to reschedule multiple events in order to accommodate extra ordinary security concerns by an individual country. I understand the Israeli's desire to bring their own security personnel. However, were I the WBF I would make it clear that once a venue is selected, it will not be changed because of this issue.

Aug. 2, 2013
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> The point is that George Jacobs as president of the USBA
> or whatever his proper title is cannot speak privately on
> a matter that concerns the organization

Interesting theory which run completely counter to reality.

I can point to any number of examples in which officials of an organization express private opinions. This is taken as a given…
Aug. 2, 2013
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> Might it not be wise at this time to, at the very least,
> consider retiring this subject as the practice of Zen would
> suggest, a religion based largely on Buddhism which accents
> the value of meditation and intuition.

To quote the Encyclopédie, that great book of the Enlightenment, “If there is something you know, communicate it. If there is something you don't know, search for it.”

I think that this information casts a considerable shadow on the narrative that Hanan has been so assiduously promoting…
Aug. 1, 2013
Richard Willey edited this comment Aug. 1, 2013
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Interesting observation about the Bali “incident”.

There was a significant work slowdown at the Israeli foreign ministry that appears to have come to a head at the same time that the Israeli team withdrew from Bali. The slowdown affected all sorts of foreign ministry functions. For example, Shin Bet - the Israeli internal security agency - was forced to withdraw protection from athletes competing abroad due to the work slow down.

In an amusing parallel, a large number of athletes who were planning on competing in the Maccabiah Games were unable to get entry visa's into Israel because the foreign service couldn't issue them.

There may be a lot more to this story than the one sided view that has been presented…

Aug. 1, 2013
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“Very good David. Your earlier post quotes an email from an unidentified source that in your words “purports” to be from Gabsi's Veep. In this thread it has become an actual statement. What does it become next time?.
And I'm sorry. Officials of the ABF are responsible to the ABF, even if they later say they did not intend to speak for it. It's a matter to be pursued, even if you back-track and back-track and back-track all the way to Bali.”

Its highly amusing to see how your standard of proof changes so dramatically for statements that don't agree with your preferred narrative… There are all sorts of statements in these threads that are only substantiated by a single individual. This is the only such statement that you seem remotely critical of.

It's far less amusing to see you threatening other forum members.
July 30, 2013
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To the extent that I have sympathy for anyone is this whole affair, its for the English team which, through no fault of their own, has been excluded from participating in a major championship. I would have very much preferred a solution that did not punish third parties. I should note in passing that I recognize that the Israeli' women's team is in very much the same situation. The difference in this case is that the actor that is formally barring the Israeli team is the Israeli government. The English team had its invitation rescinded by an external party. (I have mixed feelings about how I feel about a government barring its citizens from participating in a sporting event)

In answer to your question: I don't believe that either the Indonesians or the Israeli's did anything “wrong”, nor do I think that they necessarily mishandled the affair. I have seen any number of “solutions” to the “problem” bandied about. (Most of which seem to look suspiciously like not allowing any muslim country to host WBF events) Personally, I think that these sorts of cures are far worse that the disease.

For the most part, I think that the WBF handled things appropriately. I believe that their main mistake was offering compensation to the Israeli team at the expense of the British team. (I would have preferred no compensation at all to this state of affairs)

While we're are at it, I would also like a pony…
July 27, 2013
Richard Willey edited this comment July 27, 2013
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The “Carlos Danger” post is most likely a joke. “Carlos Danger” is a nom de plume of Anthony Weiner
July 27, 2013
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Personally, I don’t think any kind of “corrective action” is warranted. The fact that the Israeli government is unwilling to allow its team to participate in a sporting event is regrettable, but not the end of the world.

Moreover, I am pretty happy with the way the WBF is handling the situation.

1. I don’t consider the behavior of GABSI or the Indonesia government to be beyond the pale. (Nor do I consider the Israeli decision to withdraw to be unreasonable) I wish that the whole thing had never happened, however, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it and I think that inflating the significance via boycotts or some such is a mistake.

2. I don’t think that the WBF has any obligation to work with a random group of internet cranks who are trying to stir up a shit storm. Indeed, I’d suggest that engaging with a bunch of aggrieved individuals whose main interest appears to be causing trouble is unproductive. Like it or not, none of “us” has any standing in the matter. Lots of people have strong opinions on any number of matters. However, at the end of the day, the WBF’s membership is compromised of NBOs not individuals. I have no idea what kind of discussions – if any – took place behind the scenes between the WBF, GABSI, and the Israeli Bridge Federation. Then again, I don’t need to know because I am not directly involved.

If any individual entity should be leading this charge, I would think that it should be the Israeli Bridge Federation. I can’t help but noticed that they have been studiously quiet throughout the entire situation. It’s almost as if the people who are directly involved prefer to work through channels, rather than trying to whip up a mob…
July 26, 2013
Richard Willey edited this comment July 26, 2013
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I had a series of increasing annoying discussions with the Conventions Committee. Their position appears to be that any methods where a direct seat takeout double is not optimal is too complicated for North American players to defend against.

Personally, I think that they are trying to suppress high variance methods.
July 13, 2013
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The 2D bid in question has been banned in ACBL land.

1. The powers that be have deemed any assumed fit preempt that could be opened on a 4-4 pattern to be inherently destructive.
2. The same group refuses to sanction defenses to a bid that could show a 5-4 pattern
July 13, 2013
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>though you brought along no security people, were you aware
>of any who might have been there anyway? or did someone from
>the embassy in ankara, perhaps, advise you on security
>precautions? guys who do that kind of things often hold
>insignificant sounding positions, like fourth junior
>cultural attache for dance affairs :)

Earlier in the discussion, Ron Lel discussed cultural differences between different countries. We may be seeing another one here, where an Israeli seems to have difficulty imagining that a bridge team could travel to Turkey without some kind of security detail.

As I mentioned earlier, I understand why Israeli's have the need to be more conscious of these issues. At the same, this is also an illustration why I don't see a requirement that host countries provide special treatment for the Israelis. They are a special case and outside the norm.
July 10, 2013
Richard Willey edited this comment July 10, 2013
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