[Marxism] Iranian world champ wrestler boycotts bout with Israeli at Olympics

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Mon Aug 16 08:53:42 MDT 2004

Olympics: Flag-flying Iranian pulls out in Israel protest

This may turn out to be the great moment at this Olympic games.  The
savagery and racial hatred of the Israeli regime today deserves
international boycott as fully as the late apartheid regime did.  
Fred Feldman

Olympics: Flag-flying Iranian pulls out in Israel protest 
by Ytzhak . Monday August 16, 2004 at 06:50 AM
montfu65 at hotmail.com 

ATHENS : Iranian world judo champion Arash Miresmaili, who carried his
country's flag in the Olympic Games opening ceremony, has pulled out of
the tournament because he refused to fight an Israeli. 
The 23-year-old, twice a winner of the flyweight (under 66kg) world
title, opted not to take on first round opponent Ehud Vaks of Israel as
a gesture of support for Palestine. 

"Although I have trained for months and was in good shape I refused to
fight my Israeli opponent to sympathize with the suffering of the people
of Palestine and I do not feel upset at all," Miresmaili told the IRNA
news agency. 

Students news agency ISNA quoted Iran's sports officials as saying
Miresmaili still deserved the one billion rial (115,000-dollar) prize
the Iranian Olympic medal winners were promised by the Physical
Education organization. 
"Miresmaili must receive a special prize as he was the prime candidate
for a gold medal and I will do my best about it," said head of the judo
federation, Mohammad Derakhshan. 

It is not the first time Iranian judokas have declined to fight against
Israeli opponents. 

At the 2001 world championships, Mahed Malekmohammdi refused to face
Yoel Razvozov while Asian champion Masoud Haji Akhoundzade also pulled
out of a planned clash with Israeli lightweight Zvi Shafran. 

Boycotts of fixtures involving Israeli are nothing new. 

At the 2003 world table tennis championships in Paris, Israel lodged an
official protest after Yemeni and Saudi players refused to play against
one of its team members. 

Yemeni player Hani Al-Hammadi had been due to face Israel's Gay Elensky
but turned and left when he saw his opponent was Israeli. 

One day later, Elensky was due to meet Saudi player Nabeel Al-Magahwi -
but the Saudi player refused to come to the table. 

Arash Miresmaili wins gold medal for Iran in world judo championships 



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