Following other instances of terrible behavior from some of the Arab states towards Israel at the Olympic games – such as Lebanon’s bus-gate and the Saudi forfeiting her Judo match to avoid fighting an Israeli – comes the latest instance: Egyptian Judoka Islam El Shehaby refusing to shake hands with Israeli Or Sasson after losing.
Here is how it went down:
According to reports, El Shehaby had been pressured on social media to forfeit, causing the chairman of the Egyptian Olympic Committee to warn him that, if he did so, his Egyptian citizenship would be revoked.
“You will shame Islam,” wrote one angry follower. “If you lose, you will shame an entire nation and yourself. We don’t want to think what will happen if you lost to an Israeli. Victory will give you nothing. How can you cooperate with a murderous nation?”
El Shehaby, who is known for his extreme anti-Israel views, told Egyptian media outlets that he would make his decision closer to the fight. “The situation is very sensitive,” he said. “And I don’t want to discuss it.”
If it is true that the Egyptian Olympic Committee warned him, I also expect them to punish him for this unsportsmanlike behavior.
And it goes without saying that the IOC needs to act more harshly against these bad sports.
It is truly ironic that the first Olympics to hold any kind of official ceremony for our murdered team members at Munich has given rise to some of the worst antisemitism we have seen at an Olympic Games.