Austrians forget how Hatikva goes
People wonder why Israel is always on the defensive, when things like this explain it perfectly.
At an international fencing competition over the weekend in Austria, two Israeli teens – Dana Stralinkov, 14, and Alona Komarov, 13 – won the gold and bronze medals respectively.
However, at the ceremonies awarding them the medals, instead of playing the national anthem – Hatikva – as is the custom with every other winning athlete, there was only silence.
After standing in shocked silence for a few seconds, the two teens along with the entire Israeli delegation of 22 people, burst in to song and sung Hatikva, the teenagers’ coach Yaakov Friedman told Yediot Aharonot.
“It was a very moving moment,” Freidman said, adding that a similar incident occurred five months ago at a competition in Sweden. According to the report, the Austrian official in charge of playing the national anthems of countries of the winning participants, explained he was unable to find a recording of the Israeli anthem.
Yeah, sure. And we believe that Nidal Malik Hasan wasn’t an Islamic jihadist, but suffering from PTSD. These occurences, which someone with paranoid tendencies might attribute to European snobbish digs at Israel’s legitimacy, is becoming a bit tiresome.
Yossi Harari, chairman of the Israel Fencing Association told Yediot that he intended to submit a complaint to the European Union. Harari also advised supplying every Israeli delegation participating in competitions abroad, with a recorded disc of Israel’s national anthem.
If the Hatikva snub had happened to Yuri Foreman, he might have come out swinging. Foreman, an aspiring rabbi who mixes religious studies with work in the gym, made history in Las Vegas on Saturday night when he became the first Israeli boxer to win a major world title, outpointed Daniel Santos over 12 rounds to claim the WBA super welterweight crown.
The 29-year-old, who was born in Belarus but lived in Haifa from the ages of 10 to 19. Foreman, who remained unbeaten in 28 fights, emigrated from Israel to Brooklyn and began studying to become a rabbi three years ago.
Maybe we should send Foreman to Austria next to teach them Hatikva.