Abu Dhabi played Israel’s national anthem on Saturday. This event occurred after Israel’s athlete Alon Leviev took home the gold medal in the junior division of the Ju-Jitsu World Championship.
Leviev was named the world champion in the 55-kilogram-and-under category after beating competitors Abu Dhabi, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan.
Following the medal distribution, the tournament presenter announced, in English, “Congratulations, and now for the national anthem of Israel” and the “Hatikvah” melody started playing.
Hearing Israel’s national anthem playing in the capital of the United Arab Emirates is a dream come true for many Israelis.
The UAE banned Israeli symbols in the Gulf country but reversed its policy last year after facing international backlash.
The International Judo Federation prohibited (IJF) the UAE and Tunisia from hosting two prestigious international tournaments over their discrimination against Israeli athletes, who were not allowed to wave their flag or hear their national anthem play if they won.
The IJF takes discrimination against athletes very seriously and has banned Iran indefinitely from global judo competitions over the country’s refusal to allow its athletes to compete against Israelis.
The total ban comes after IJF suspended Iran last month for pressuring Iranian-born Saeid Mollaei to deliberately lose at the World Judo Championships Tokyo 2019 in August to avoid competing against Israeli competitor Sagi Muki.
WATCH: Israel’s national anthem was played in Abu Dhabi after 17-year-old Alon Leviev took GOLD at the Jiu-Jitsu World Championships. Mazal tov champion!
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) 18 de noviembre de 2019
Source: CBN News