“Since they refuse to raise Israeli flag or play Israeli anthem at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam judo tournament, I am just going to leave this here,” Koum wrote with a link to “Hatikvah.”
Whatsapp Co-Founder Jan Koum protested the United Arab Emirates’s (UAE) ban on playing the Israeli national anthem or flying the Israeli flag during the Judo Grand Slam games last week by posting a moving rendition of Israel’s “Hatikvah” anthem on his social media feed.
Koum was protesting Abu Dhabi’s ban on the Israeli judo team donning national symbols and playing the Jewish state’s national anthem during the major tournament in the country.
Despite attempts by Arab hosts to hide Israel’s presence at the games, Israeli champions stood proudly on the podium.
Israeli judoka Tal Flicker won a gold medal on Thursday in the men’s under-66 kilogram (145 pounds) division after defeating Azerbaijani judoka Nijat Shikhalizada.
Since Abu Dhabi refused to play the Jewish state’s national anthem during the tournament, Flicker stood on the podium at the award ceremony mouthing the words to “Hatikvah” as the Judo federation’s anthem played instead, with its flag flown above Flicker.
“Israel is my country, and I’m proud to be Israeli. The anthem that they played of the world federation was just background noise. I was singing ‘Hatikvah’ from my heart,” Flicker told reporters.
By: World Israel News Staff