OLYMPICS: 'Tolerant' Egyptian Judoka Refuses Shake Hands With Jew. Gets Banned.
Israelis are getting crapped on at the Olympics right now. Not in terms of winning and losing, but the treatment they've been receiving - simply for being Jewish (see Rio 2016: Lebanese Want Israeli Team Thrown Off Bus). This time an Israeli judoka went to shake hands with his Egyptian opponent. It should be noted that he did so after beating said Egyptian like... well like many Egyptians beat their wives. Said Egyptian wasn't having any of it. The athlete refused to shake hands. Because Egyptian-ness... Or something.
Sasson had defeated El Shehaby and then extended a hand, as is customary in judo. Judokas are expected to either shake hands or bow at the beginning and end of matches. El Shehaby instead backed away, shaking his head. The referee then called him back to the mat to bow. He gave a brief nod and walked off. The crowd booed loudly.
It was an "unacceptable" and "unfortunate" move, International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said after the incident. Rio Olympics officials reprimanded El Shehaby and sent him home Monday...
This goes beyond just plain douchiness. Many blatant acts of anti-semitism have already occurred at the Olympics. Not a single one of those acts occurred at the hands of Methodists. I know, I know. Jews are universally hated by most Middle Easterners and gay liberals. What else is new? (see Feminist Liberals Attack New 'Wonder Woman'... For being Jewish?) At least this time officials issued fitting punishment regarding the incident. As someone who's competed in Judo, I can attest to the fact that this likely has more to do with the long-standing tradition of respect in the sport than it does the current climate at the Olympics. And at least the Egyptian did get on the mat with an Israeli in the first place (unlike those pesky Methodists who refused to even share a bus with them Jews there...). It's not much, but it's a start. That's a good sign, right?
...Except not really. The fact that we're even giving credit to a Muslim competitor for merely sharing the arena with a Jew shows just how far our prejudice of low expectations has taken us. Just a teensy weensy bit. Because there was always the other option, which is, you know, just being a regular athlete and decent human being, treating all opponents equally. Unfortunately, that might require a religious conversion.
Given Islamic Egypt's history with the Jews, I wouldn't hold my breath...