Jewish and Israeli athletes keep getting banned from public events. How does it end?

Israel's under-20 men's hockey team was banned from participating in a tournament in Bulgaria in January 2024—until the governing body reversed their decision within a matter of days. (Photo courtesy of Israel Hockey / Instagram)

They say two events can be a coincidence, but three make a trend. And in the past month, three Jewish or Israeli athletes have been controversially kicked out of the public sphere.

First, Israel’s hockey team was barred from competing in an international match in Bulgaria—the decision was reversed, and Israel wound up winning the tournament. Around the same time, the Jewish captain of South Africa’s cricket team, David Teeger, was relieved from his captaincy after vocally supporting Israel on a public stage; the saga resulted in tremendous backlash from activists on both sides. Finally, this week, Canadian cyclist and motivational speaker Leah Goldstein learned her keynote address at an International Women’s Day event in Peterborough would be cancelled because she served in the Israel Defense Forces more than 30 years ago. Within days, organizers decided to simply scrap the entire event.

These trends extend beyond the world of sports into broader culture. The CJN has covered numerous examples of Jewish artists, playwrights and comics having performances heavily protested or outright cancelled. In this week’s episode of Menschwarmers, producer Michael Fraiman joins host Gabe Pulver to give a rundown of these controversies and ask the inevitable question: How does it all end?

Related links


Menschwarmers is hosted by James Hirsh and Gabe Pulver, and produced and edited by Michael Fraiman. Our intro music is by Coby Lipovitch, and our outro music is “Organ Grinder Swing” by chēēZ π. This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. Follow the Menschwarmers on Twitter @menschwarmers or TikTok @menschwarmers. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast or donating to The CJN.