When Tal Flicker, the Israeli judo champion, won the gold medal in Abu Dhabi, which refused to play the Israeli national anthem or display the flag of Israel, and played the theme of the International Judo Federation instead, he decided he would protest in the only way left to him: he quietly sang the Israeli national anthem himself.
The International Judo Federation had already demonstrated outright anti-Semitism by not allowing Israeli athletes to compete as members of their own country:
And when Israeli Gili Cohen won the bronze medal, things got even more nasty:
But when Flicker won the gold, and an anthem had to be played for the winner, the IJF’s anti-Semitism was even more clearly revealed. The Times of Israel reported that Flicker coolly decided what he had to do:
Flicker said later that he made up his mind to sing his own “Hatikvah” on the podium from “the moment that I won the gold.” “Israel is my country, and I’m proud to be Israeli,” he said, speaking to Channel 2 news from his hotel room. “The anthem that they played of the world federation was just background noise,” he said. “I was singing ‘Hatikvah’ from my heart. I’m proud of my country,” he said again. “The whole world knows that we’re from Israel, knows who we represent. The fact that they hid our flag, it’s just a patch on our flag.”