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Israeli Judoka Sagi Muki: 'Be Brave' and Condemn Hamas, or You're 'Speaking Against Peace'

By: Shiryn Ghermezian | Algemeiner | December 15, 2023

Israeli judoka and Olympic medalist Sagi Muki is urging the public to “speak out” against Hamas and not be afraid to condemn the Palestinian terror group’s deadly rampage in Israel on Oct. 7, even while others glorify the massacre of Israeli civilians.

Muki shared a message with the world in a video released on Thursday in collaboration with StandWithUs, a nonprofit that supports Israel and fights antisemitism.

In the clip, Muki began by talking about his friendship with Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei, who was ordered by Iranian officials to forfeit a match at the 2019 World Judo Championships in Tokyo to avoid competing against Muki simply because he was Israeli.

Iran, which backs the Hamas terrorist organization, has a longstanding policy of banning its athletes from going head-to-head against competitors from the Jewish state.

Ignoring orders to drop out of the match against Muki, Mollaei reached the semi-final in Tokyo. He subsequently fled Iran and gained refugee status in Germany before becoming a citizen of Mongolia, for which he now competes.

“The bright side of the story is that we became friends and have been close ever since,” Muki said in the video. “Saeid and I are proof that the Iranian people and the Israeli people are not enemies, despite the Iranian regime pushing that destruction narrative.”

The Israeli athlete added that following the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks, “I believe that the friendship story between myself and Saeid is all the more important to tell, especially as I see students and protesters around the world spewing hatred against Israel while ignoring, or sometimes even celebrating, Hamas atrocities.”

“When you refuse to speak out against Hamas, you are actually speaking against peace,” Muki noted. “If we do not recognize evil for what it is, we are throwing away any hope for good. For my sake, for Saeid’s sake, and for the sake of everyone, everywhere, who wants good to thrive in the face of evil, speak out. Be brave like Saeid. There is always hope for a peaceful future.”

When Mollaei won his first Olympic medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, he dedicated his win to Israel. The judoka also traveled to Israel in 2021 to compete in the International Judo Federation’s Tel Aviv Grand Slam, where he won the silver medal.


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