A few months ago Israeli Sergio Britva won an international weightlifting competition in Poland. The second and third places went respectively to Iran and Germany.
Yaakov Sarifian, ironically notes, “The most thrilling is to hear the Israeli National Anthem HATIKVA be officially played in Poland, where nearly 3 million Jews were killed by the Nazis. Before the Holocaust, there were 3.5 million Jews living in Poland.
“It is also very exciting and spectacular to see the ISRAELI FLAG (above the podium) side by side with the GERMAN FLAG (the people who slaughtered the Jews) and THE IRANIAN FLAG (the people who promise to continue slaughtering the Jewish state and sweep the map).”
The Iranian athlete was put in a precarious position that caused no small uproar in Iran. Official Iranian protocol is to never stand on a podium at a sporting event next to a ‘Zionist.’ However he didn’t want Iran to be disqualified from the competition and apparently received the ‘ok’ from his coach. When the elated Britva offers his outstretched hand to the Iranian, the Iranian refuses the handshake and gives a salute instead.
Many Iranians are good people under a fanatical regime. This poor fellow is probably just a dude who likes to lifts weights and suddenly is at the center of a diplomatic scandal in Iran. While some say his gesture was to wave off the Israeli, it seems to me that maybe he is apologetically declining. (Watch the video and tell us by commenting below what your opinion is.) And if so, who knows what the secret police in Iran will do to him just for standing with him on the podium.
Back to the video itself, it is quite moving to see the joy on Sergio’s face as Hatikva (The Hope), Israel’s national anthem, is played (at 2:20 if you want to fast forward) at an awards ceremony…in Poland…with Germany…and Iran…on the podium. Poetic Justice?