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Olympic Disgrace

Once again, the message of the Olympic Games, a symbol of goodwill for all of mankind, has become lost on an Arab competitor.

Earlier Friday, Iran’s double world judo champion Arash Miresmaeili pulled out of the Olympics after drawing an Israeli in the first round.

Miresmaeili, who carried Iran’s flag during Friday’s opening ceremony, finished fifth in Sydney. Having won world titles in 2001 and 2003, he was carrying his country’s hopes of Olympic gold in Athens.

But following the draw at the Ano Liossia hall, Miresmaeili was paired with Udi Vaks in the first round of the men’s under 66kg category. Since its 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran has refused to recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist.

Hirofumi Otsuji, secretary to the Asian Judo Union president, confirmed that Miresmaeili would be withdrawn from the competition. Under International Judo Federation regulations, he could also be sent home.

Iranian team officials said that Miresmaeili explained he had withdrawn out of sympathy with the Palestinian cause.

Nothing expresses sympathy with the PLO arab cause like flouting the concepts of sportsmanship and goodwill, and surrendering cowardice.

Update: The Jerusalem Post reports:

Ironically, if Vaks does automatically advance to the second round, his opponent will be either Algerian Amar Meridja or Egypt’s Amin Mohamed.

Heh. If he keeps drawing opponents like these, he may win the gold medal without even having to compete.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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