Disgrace, hatred for Jews wins in Rio

Why doesn’t the entire world get up on their feet shouting, this world that is anti-racist, anti-apartheid, and currently captivated by the globalist party of the Olympics…

Why is it so cross-eyed in being able (rightly) to expel an athlete who breaks the athletic code of honor by using performance-enhancing drugs, and yet doesn’t kick out those who break the fundamental rule of ethnic and religious equality by discriminating against Israelis as lepers, refusing to touch them or to share space with them or even to compete against its citizens?

To date we have seen three repugnant episodes of Islamic extremism, and no one lifts a finger. Yesterday, the Egyptian Islam El Shehaby, for whom evidently, as for many of his countrymen, it has never been signed a peace treaty between Egypt Israel in 1979 (we are talking about almost forty years ago!), broke the traditions of judo by refusing to shake hands with the Israeli boy who had beaten him. He left him like a pillar of salt, amazed and disarmed, deprived of his victory. The public protested, the judges asked El Shahaby to come to the mat and obliged him to bow and he did: a bow from a distance. However, to touch a Jew, gross, the horror.

On Sunday it was the Saudi Arabian Joud Fahmi’s turn, also a judoka, who forfeited her first-round match in order to avoid inevitably facing Gili Cohen, an Israeli, in the second-round. Cohen? Her name is Cohen? Are we crazy? A Jewish surname! Don’t touch her, perhaps she smells or has the Devil’s tail. And to think that the Saudis were in Jerusalem just a few days ago for meetings to discuss better relations, peace plans, strategy… But it is another thing for the people of a fundamentalist Islamic country to renounce anti-Semitism, which they have been brought up with from a tender age and that permeates their entire world. One must kill a Jew; Israel, it will be erased: also in Egypt they have been taught to repeat such rhetoric since childhood. You have to be truly enlightened, and they are, to think otherwise. Please take a look at Palestinian Media Watch, a website where you can read the Palestinian media and not only that of Hamas, but also those of Abu Mazen’s party.

The first episode should have already been alarming enough to arouse an immediate reaction: Israeli athletes were boarding the bus that would take them to Maracanà stadium, the opening ceremony. The first day should have been all about sportsmanship and enthusiasm. However, the Lebanese athletes blocked the front of the door of the bus and prevented their Israeli counterparts from boarding. Sharing a bus with the Jews? Buses are a well-known place of apartheid; only those who are pure and worthy get on. Not Israeli athletes. The international sport authorities have indicated that later they will deal with these strange behaviors.

Later? Don’t they understand that the entire world is in reality revealing itself as indifferent, that again Europe, America, and Western countries by not attributing any importance to those events, are basically copying the same behavior that was taken in Munich in 1972, when a Palestinian terrorist commando exterminated with horrible tortures the entire Israeli team? Even then the games continued as if nothing had happened.

Don’t they understand that by not reacting to a fundamentalist mind-set and extreme hatred of Jews, they only open the road to further fundamentalist and extreme hatred, which in these hours is rearing its head in admiration for these Arab athletes who have performed discriminatory gestures in relation to Israel, toward the entire West?

During these past days, Isis and other terrorist groups have posted on the web requests to their supporters to carry out attacks at the Olympics: “One small attack with a knife in Rio will have a bigger media effect than any other attacks anywhere else,” explain the centers of terror.

It’s the same reasoning, mutatis mutandis, which has led Arab athletes to discriminate against Israel: a little discrimination here is equal to great hatred there, it is a propaganda machine that leads to boycotts in universities, in science, to hatred for the Jews throughout the world, to the deranged dependence upon lies of which Israel is covered and which should lead to its demise, and, in the end, to the growth of violent extremism.

And what do the sports federations do? What do the countries that have their athletes competing in Rio do? Are they happily clapping along with anti-Semitic judokas? Don’t they understand that this is a condemnation they impose upon themselves?

This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (13 August, 2016)
Translation by Amy K. Rosenthal

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.
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