SHAFAQNA– Following the latest attempts made by some Arab states to normalize relations with the Israel entity, Israel‘s national anthem played in the United Arab Emirates for the first time following that an Israeli athlete won the gold medal in the World Judo Championships.
Israeli athlete Sagi Muki won a gold medal on Monday in the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Judo World Tournament.
Muki came in first in the 81 kilogram weight class after defeating Belgium’s Matthias Casse in the final match of the tournament.
The Israeli athlete was presented with the gold medal as Israel’s national anthem played for the first time at a public sporting event in the United Arab Emirates, .i24news reported.
A visibly moved Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, who was at the contest, presented the medals and hung the gold medallion around the neck of the winning judoka.
Israeli officials said Regev’s presence in the United Arab Emirates capital marked the first time a minister from Israel attended a sports event in the Persian Gulf.
Regev credited IJF president, Austria’s Marius Vizer, for influencing the organizers to change their policy on Israeli symbols.
It was also the first time an Israeli delegation participated there under its flag, after the International Judo Federation warned UAE organizers the competition would be canceled unless all athletes were allowed to participate “on an equal footing”.
“Everyone is moved by this honor and pride. It is not only your personal achievement and the Jewish achievement of Israeli sports, but also the fact that the anthem was being played in Abu Dhabi”, PM of Israel, Netanyahu tweeted.
The playing of the Israeli national anthem and Regev’s attendance at the tournament were the latest attempts made by some Arab states to normalize relations with the Israel entity, almanar noticed.
An Israeli gymnastics team is currently attending an event in Qatar, too.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made a surprise visit to Oman, the first time an Israeli leader has visited the Sultanate in 22 years. According to Reuters, Israel’s communications minister is due at a conference in Abu Dhabi next week.