Anti-Israel Egyptian judo fighter Islam el-Shehaby received backlash on Friday when he didn’t shake the hand or bow to his Israeli opponent Or Sasson, who defeated him on Friday. In response, the Egyptian Olympic Committee announced they will open an investigation into his actions.

Judo Israeli Egyptian refuses to shake hand

El-Shehaby received pressure from Muslims not to fight against the Israeli, but the EOC threatened to strip him of his citizenship if he withdrew. He immediately retired after the loss.

From The Jerusalem Post:

The Egyptian Olympic Committee said it has summoned el-Shehaby to a hearing on the matter in order to listen to his version of events. The committee added that it will release its decision in the next 48 hours.

In response, a spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee said they “will review the case to figure out exactly what happened.”

“Sometimes over the course of such tournaments such things happen, but in general the idea of the Olympics is to build bridges between countries and nations, not destroy them,” the IOC added.

Before the match, Muslims littered the internet with demands for him to boycott the match:

“You will shame Islam,” wrote one angry follower. “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?”

However, attitudes changed with Muslims and anti-Israelis on social media because they cheered when Shehaby refused to shake Sasson’s hand.

Translation: Masri declined Israeli handshake. Allahu Akbar. Islam triumphed with it.

Shehaby has some of the most anti-Israel views, which makes some think he lost on purpose “as a silent protest against Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who forced him to compete in the games.”


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.