Disgraceful: Israeli Wins World Judo Championship, but Egyptian Quarter-Final Opponent Refuses to Shake Hands

Sagi Muki of Israel won the World Judo Championship on Wednesday in Tokyo, but it would appear that his Egyptian opponent considered it wrong to shake his hand after his defeat due to prejudice against Israelis.

After a match, it’s proper for opponents to bow and then shake hands. As you can see in the video, as Muki bowed and offered his hand, Mohamed Abdelaal of Egpyt turns his back on Muki and walked away, eliciting boos from the crowd.

Luckily, Belgium’s Matthias Casse did not have the same hangups after he lost to Muki, giving Muki the championship.

According to the Daily Wire, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened:

In August 2016, after he lost his first-round judo match at the Rio Olympics to Israel’s Or Sasson, ranked fifth in the world, Egyptian judo fighter Islam El Shehaby refused to shake Sasson’s hand, prompting boos from the crowd. El Shehaby was automatically defeated when Sasson threw him twice with roughly a minute and a half remaining in the bout. El Shehaby lay flat on his back, then stood with Sasson in front of the referee. Sasson extended his hand, but El Shehaby backed away, shaking his head, prompting the referee to tell El Shehaby he should return to the mat and bow. Instead, El Shehaby simply nodded his head.

Anti-Israel media in Egypt had urged the 25th ranked El Shahaby to avoid competing against Sasson; Mataz Matar, a TV host on Al-Sharq, warned, “My son watch out, don’t be fooled, or fool yourself thinking you will play with the Israeli athlete to defeat him and make Egypt happy … Egypt will cry; Egypt will be sad and you will be seen as a traitor and a normalizer in the eyes of your people.”

In 2017 at Abu Dhabi’s judo championships, they refused to play Israel’s national anthem or display the Israeli flag, playing the World Judo Championship anthem instead. Gold medal winner Tal Flicker chose to quietly sing the anthem to himself instead.

This isn’t just a story of a few disrespected athletes. This is a testament to the bigotry exhibited by antisemitic cultures toward Israel.

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