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HomeMongolia NewsKnocking anti-Israel bias to the mat – New York Daily News

Knocking anti-Israel bias to the mat – New York Daily News

Three years, two nationalities and one pandemic later, Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei finally faced his Israeli opponent — and now best friend — Sagi Muki, on the mat. Their unlikely friendship, the topic of an upcoming television series, began in 2019 when the Iranian regime threatened Mollaei for planning to fight Muki at the world championships — a violation of Tehran’s sports boycott of Israel.

Fortunately, Mollaei’s story did not have a tragic ending like that of wrestling champion Navid Afkari — tortured and executed by the regime for engaging in peaceful protest. The International Judo Federation (IJF) protected Mollaei and suspended Iran for violating the Olympic Charter and its principle of non-discrimination — a demonstration of how global sporting bodies have a pivotal role to play in opposing prejudice and protecting human rights.

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