October 20, 2017: Politics of sports

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Politics of sports
How ironic that I just caught A Gentleman’s Agreement on television yesterday and was thinking to myself how different the world was then, but alas it is not so different today is it? Regarding “Latest disgrace involving Israel’s judokas a blight on entire sport” (October 18), I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that flagrant antisemitism still exists in 2017. The display of hatred from the organizers in Abu Dhabi for next week’s Grand Slam judo event should not come as such a shock.
The fact that Israel’s 12 judokas will not be able to display the Israeli flag on their uniforms, that “ISR” will not be displayed beside their names on the scoreboard and that if they should win, Hatikva will not be played is par for the course. The only conclusion I can come to is that those sissies are afraid of being beaten by our powerful men, men who have served proudly defending our beautiful country and are now making us proud once again by competing against these cowards.
The world may think we only produce “wonder women” but we also produce many “wonder men.”
I personally hope the judokas do not cave to these repulsive requests, but if they do decide to play in that backward country, I wish them hatzlacha (good luck) and hope they whip their butts!
When sports and politics mix, which should gain precedence? I don’t see it as a blight on the sport, but one on Israel and its athletes. When there is pride in one’s country, it should be a no-brainer. But rather than not take part in the Grand Slam event in Abu Dhabi, Israel Judo Association chairman Moshe Ponte agreed not to compete under Israel’s flag, just as was the case two years ago.
The judokas have been told they will be unable to have the Israeli flag on their judo uniform as they do in every other event across the world and will have to take part in the contest as representatives of the International Judo Federation. To further the humiliation, should an Israeli win a gold medal, the national anthem will not be played. These are terms no other country has to put up with and it’s a sure bet that the Arabs would never agree to such a demand.
On another occasion, Magen David Adom was so anxious to be allowed to travel around Europe with the Red Crescent and other ambulance services that it easily succumbed to the pressure to remove the Magen David from its ambulances in certain countries.
When there is no respect for oneself and one’s country, there is no respect shown or given by others.
All our talk about our wonderful achievements and how much we rush to help countries in need even when they are enemy countries, only shows that when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, we are so damn anxious to please, all pride is surrendered to the heavyweights.
Like the 10 spies sent to give an account of the Promised Land, they saw themselves as grasshoppers and the people there as giants. In fact, it is the other way around, only we are too pathetic to see it.