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August 12, 2016 10:40 am

Egyptian Judoka Booed By Crowd for Refusing Israeli Rival’s Handshake After Losing During First-Round Olympic Match (VIDEO)

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Egypt’s Islam El Shehaby seen snubbing a handshake by Israel's Ori Sasson after being defeated in a first-round judoka Olympic match. Photo: The Israel Project.

Egypt’s Islam El Shehaby seen snubbing Israel’s Ori Sasson after being defeated in a first-round judo match-up. Photo: The Israel Project.

An Egyptian Olympic judoka was booed by a Rio audience when he refused to shake hands with his Israeli rival after losing a first-round match on Friday.

As per the rules of the sport, after Israel’s Ori Sasson beat Egypt’s Islam El Shehaby, Sasson approached the Egyptian to shake his hand before walking off the mat. El Shehaby then immediately turned away from Sasson’s outstretched arm, rebuffing his friendly gesture. In video footage of the incident, the crowd is heard booing loudly at El Shehaby’s unsportsmanlike conduct.

One BBC reporter commenting live during the match called El Shehaby’s action “very disappointing,” adding, “this is not what the Olympics is about.” A second BBC commentator said, “If you’re an outsider coming in, having a look, the rules of our sport dictate absolute respect for the opponent.”

El Shehaby’s snub prompted an almost immediate outcry on social media.

Ofir Gendelman, the Arab media spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter to congratulate Sasson and rebuke his rival. The Olympics is “not an arena for politics and extremism,” he said. 

Pro-Israel advocacy group The Israel Project (TIP) said on Facebook that the Egyptian’s actions highlight “more shocking hate at the Rio Olympics.”

“Israel’s Ori Sasson beats Egyptian Islam El Shehaby in 1st round of their judo competition. The Egyptian then refuses to shake the Israeli’s hand. The crowd boos. This is the Israel-Arab situation in miniature. For 68 years Israel has stretched out its hand in peace. But each time, they are rejected,” TIP said.

Prior to his match against Sasson, El Shehaby was attacked by fans for not bowing out of the Olympic challenge against Israel in the first place.

As reported by The Algemeiner, social media users pressured the athlete to drop out, with one angry follower writing, “You will shame Islam. If you lose, you will shame an entire nation and yourself. We don’t want to think what will happen if you lost to an Israeli. Victory will give you nothing. How can you cooperate with a murderous nation?”

The event is also not the first time during the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil that an Arab nation has snubbed Israel.

On August 5, the Lebanese delegation to the games refused to share a bus to the opening ceremony with the Israeli team. On August 7, Saudi Arabian judoka Joud Fahmy forfeited her first-round match against Christianne Legentil from Mauritius, reportedly in order to avoid competing against Israeli contender Gili Cohen in the next round.

Watch footage of the Olympic snub below:

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  • Al Talena

    And this is from a country that is allegedly at peace with Israel, well kinda except fore the anti-Israel media, TV shows, school curriculum etc

  • Mel

    Islam is a cursed nation. Without them this world would be a more peaceful place. Don’t think they only hate the Jews, America is next on the list. Obama & Hillary thinks they are their friends.

  • Mel

    And Obama & Hillary things they are they best friends.

  • Mel

    Islam is a cursed nation. Without them this world would be a peacefully place. Don’t think they only hate the Jews, America is next on they list.

  • The Egyptian just does not understand what the Olympics are about.

  • Joe

    Muslims are scum. Show some respect you cockroaches.

  • Bill Maniaci

    The entire Egyptian team should be disqualified and sent home. Such blatant ethnic and/or racial hatred should not be allowed to stand in this, or any other olympic contest or related activity, including the busses transporting the athletes. The Lebanese and the Saudi Arabian teams/delegations should also face sanctions and/or expulsion for their egregious acts against Israel’s Olympic Teams.

  • AbouYoussef

    He did the right thing. Win or lose, never shake the hands of an israeli. They are in Palestinian territories and then claim to work toward peace. Netanyahu is a more corrupt terrorist than Daesh and al Qaeda combined.

    • What is your problem AbouYoussef. You are a jealous nation with hatred and evil hearts!!! It shows that Israel has God and the Lord Jesus, manners and love. – the latter your nation lacks !!! AND will my comment be REMOVED AGAIN!!!!

      • Man on the street

        Actually Israel is not as evil as the Muslim countries, but, they hardly a country to be proud of. They don’t know Jesus, and their Orthodox leaders have been videoed spitting on priests in the streets.

    • Man on the street

      Egypt, Arabs, Muslims, must understand that if they seek respect by others as human beings, they should keep politics out of sport competition. Putin just met with Erdoghan who ordered the downing and killing of the Russian fighters. That is a civilized human being who places the interest of his country above emotion.

      At the bottom of the Arab Muslim hostilities is a religious inciting every Friday.

  • That should not be accepted in the Olympic games. Can’t he be disqualified for poor sportsmanship? Even in my son’s basketball games there is that rule…

  • jakob wasi

    Hardly worth a mention.

  • I read somewhere that the Egyptian government, exploring “normalization “with Israel and co-operation in the Sinai,had ordered him to compete, with inducements like loss of citizenship,if he refused. Pity the athletes. Some must feel like the bone between two dogs. And all they want is to be is Faster, Higher, Stronger than their fellows.

  • nat cheiman

    Typical anti semite

  • Alan Pearlstein

    This would be a HUGE STORY if it happened to any other country. The real problem is that anti-Israel (and by extension anti-semitism) has been normalized in the world community. The disrespect towards Israelis is accepted as just the way it is. The most promising thing was to hear the boos from the crowd. The Olympic establishment should make a very public statement against this type of behavior.


      Israel was warmly received at the opening ceremony. You can see it for yourself. Anti-Semitism is not normal in Brazil.

    • Man on the street

      If the world look at Israel as a racist nation, then, they should not allow their athletes to compete ? Nevertheless, once they have been accepted they MUST be afforded equal respect.

  • Michael Fox

    Obviously the Egyptian representing his nation allowed politics to embarrass himself, his nation and Islam before the world. The Olympics have a long standing tradition of sportsmanship. It is unique in bringing global human diversity together in the spirit of commonality.
    Where politics polarizes, The Olympics represent a human opportunity to transcend the worst attributes of our specie.

  • Chaya

    Poor sports and bad neighbors, now it’s for all the world to see.

  • ART

    The egyptian does face danger but it is from his own, and it shows the depth of the hatred towards ALL Jews. Don’t be surprised if these same people blatantly extend their boycott to all Jews be they from the US or France or Russia.

  • ART

    this shows why there is NO hope for a real peace in the middle east

  • Marco Redwolf

    When you follow a faith that suppresses free will and revelations and everything is ” The Will of Allah” all a man has left is “face” bad enough that he had to be within 10 meters of a Jew without stabbing him, he had to lose a contest….Muslims do not do “loss of face ” well.

  • Steven

    Judo rules require you to bow to your opponent at the end of the match, not to shake hands. The Egyptian contender initially did neither, but when prompted by the referee, gave a half-hearted bow.

    While snubbing Sasson’ss handshake was indeed a childish and unsportsmanlike move, it didn’t violate any rules. Not bowing did. Get your facts straight.

    • Man on the street

      Thanks for clearing this up.

  • Remember this? “Egyptian Muslim Chick Wrestler Bit Israeli Wrestler After Israeli Won; Broke Her Fingers, Too” –
    (The offending Muslima was suspended.)

  • NuritG

    What a repugnant behavior? It is sports not politics. What makes a person behaves so disrespectful? And comes to think about it Israel has signed peace treaty with Egypt decades ago. So it this peace treaty pretentious and could turn to another war if the Egyptians are incited to start one such war?

  • philip morrison

    of course, but, the Olympics are already in disrepute and a hand shake might have given it a little respect

  • brenrod

    muslims dont beleive in sportsmanship, its not sharia

  • Howard


    These Muslim idiots have nothing else to do but save face. It was a contest. He competed. He lost. Next!

  • Yaakov

    At least he showed up for the match despite the pressure on him not to do so; give him credit for that. The handshake refusal was a face-saving gesture.

    • Daniel

      Yaacov is absolutely right. The Egyptian judoka had more courage than many other Arab/Muslim athletes who were pressure to forfeit and did so.

      It would have been best had he shook hands, but he should be recognized that he tried to do the right thing more than many, many others.

    • Bryan

      Thank you so much for sharing. It’s obvious American media does not want we citizens to see this – it took some searching for me to dig it up. Thanks again!

    • BigEdNY

      Hes still a jerk. If he went through with the bout he could have shaken the winners hand. Sorry i cant respect anyone that is a sore loser, no matter what the circumstances.

    • Kushmir Intuchis

      He showed up only because he hoped he could beat the Israeli and then go home in triumph

    • Susan panse

      Agree, I understand the referee called him back and requested he now his head and he complied… I hope this is true.

    • Mordecai

      Sorry, Yaakov, I give him no credit for anything. That creep probably had visions of winning the match and becoming an instant hero to his people. I’ll bet he imagined himself strutting around, declaring, “I, Islam El Shehaby, conqueror of the Jew!” Now, he’ll have to live with the humiliation of his loss and the resounding boos of the live audience and the distain of fair-minded sports viewers worldwide.

    • Holy Shirt

      No, the handshake refusal was to save a life: his own. Do you think Anwar el Sadat’s assassination by Barack Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood was not for shaking hands? Do you think Obama incited Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow for honoring that treaty 30 years because Obama loves Jews? Think Hillary excoriates Netanyahu for love of Israel? Do you think Obama tried to kill el Sisi to keep peace? Think Obama kisses Erdogan’s feet for love of America? Think Hillary’s fatcat Jews’ donations will save them? Will Lefty Jews ever think with their heads, not hearts?

    • Maybe it was a life-saving gesture – his own. Sad state of affairs.

    • Ber Lazarus

      What a load of cr*p. Either you respect all the rules of the sport or you don’t. He deserves no credit or respect for his disrespect.

    • Phil

      What a pussy