Indonesia Holds Up Visa for Israeli Badminton Player

An Israeli badminton player looks set to miss next week's world championships in Indonesia after authorities failed to grant him a visa, AFP reported on Friday.

Misha Zilberman, who represented Israel at the London 2012 Olympics, said that he was stuck in Singapore, a short flight from Jakarta, despite attempting for months to secure permission to enter Indonesia.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, and the Jewish state do not have formal diplomatic ties and it is difficult for Israelis to visit the Southeast Asian nation.

"After six months of exchanging letters, and after sending all the documents they requested, and after we arrived in Singapore, they are saying no," Zilberman, 26, wrote on Facebook.

"After two weeks in Singapore waiting for a visa they are probably sending me home instead of to the World Championships," he added, according to AFP.

The week-long world championships begin on Monday.

According to Indonesian immigration regulations, Israelis who wish to visit the country must obtain a special visa in Bangkok or Singapore after getting a sponsorship letter from Indonesian officials.

Yuni Kartika, a spokeswoman for the Indonesian Badminton Association, confirmed Zilberman was yet to be granted a visa but insisted the organization was pushing authorities to grant him one.

The immigration department had informed the association his visa application was still being processed but refused to explain the delay, she added.

"There is still a possibility, as soon as his visa issued, we will send it to Singapore immediately," the spokeswoman said, according to AFP.

Immigration officials could not be contacted for comment.

A similar incident occurred in 2009 with Israeli tennis star Shahar Pe'er. While Pe’er was granted a visa to an international tournament in Indonesia, she was not given permission to have Israel’s flag displayed at the contest.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/199185

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