Arik Zeevi
Photo: Oren Aharoni

Egyptian judoka who snubbed Israeli rival 'national hero'

Websites in Arab country praise Ramadan Darwish for refusing to shake Arik Zeevi's hand after their bout at Dusseldorf Grand Prix; talkbackers slam him for agreeing to fight at all

Egyptian judoka Ramadan Darwish refused to shake Arik Zeevi's hand after he defeated the Israeli in their quarterfinal bout on Sunday at the Judo Grand Prix in Dusseldorf, Germany, Ynet reported.


Egyptian news websites published a number of reports on the incident with a link to a video of the bout. "Darwish is a national hero," one website declared, adding "Israel is a terrorist nation."



Some of the talkbackers also lauded the Egyptian judoka for snubbing his Israeli rival. "Darwish, we love you for what you did," "Egypt wins again," and "There is no peace after what Israel did" were some of the responses posted online. Other talkbackers criticized Darwish for agreeing to fight Zeevi in the first place.


Darwish eventually finished third in the under-100-kg weight class of the prestigious tournament.


Tensions between Israel and Egypt have grown since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak during the Egyptian revolution of 2011. The Muslim Brotherhood, which dominated the recent elections in Egypt, said it may "review" the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.


Zeevi told Ynet he was "very disappointed" by the loss to Darwish. "I felt good during the competition, but I keep losing due to penalties incurred during fights against rivals who try to 'close' the match. I have to find a solution for this," he said.


"The Egyptian's behavior only intensified my disappointment. He also yelled 'Allahu Akbar' when the fight ended. His disgraceful behavior makes me regret the loss even more."


The Israel Judo Association has sent a letter of complaint to the International Judo Federation.



פרסום ראשון: 02.21.12, 14:56
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