Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Tunisia, Under Pressure, Lets 7-Year-Old Israeli In For Chess Championships

(JTA) — Following pressure, the Tunisian Chess Federation has agreed to allow a 7-year-old Israeli girl to participate in an international tournament in Tunisia.

Tunisian authorities backtracked on their refusal to grant a visa to Liel Levitan for the World School Individual Championships next year in Sousse, France’s National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, said Friday in a statement.

The FIDE World Chess Federation pressured its Tunisian affiliate and the country’s authorities to allow her to compete, according to the report.

Many Arab countries place limitations on Israelis’ representation in sports and cultural events, prompting protests by Israel and professional associations that view it as political interference contrary to international standards on sportsmanship.

The Tunisian Chess Federation issued a circular Tuesday stating that “players from all countries are welcome, without exception.”

FIDE threatened to revoke Tunisia’s privileges to host the match, the report said.

The issue of Israel’s participation drew international attention last month after the pro-Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs launched an online campaign asking to ensure participation for Levitan, who won the Girls U7 category in the European School Individual Chess Championship in July, The Jerusalem Post reported.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.