Israeli anthem plays in the UAE for the first time after Judo athlete Sagi Muki wins Gold

Hatikvah plays in Abu Dhabi, the anthem of a country the UAE does not recognise


The Israeli national anthem played in the United Arab Emirates for the first time on Sunday, when one of its athletes won Gold at International Judo Federation's Grand Slam.

Sagi Muki travelled to Abu Dhabi to compete, despite the fact his country and the UAE have no diplomatic relations.

He beat Matthias Casse to win in the event's under-81 kilogram category and Hatikvah played as he stood on the winners' stand to receive his medal.

Israel Culture Minister Miri Regev was among the attendees and was visibly moved as she hung the Gold medallion around Mr Muki's neck.

She tweeted: "We made history. The people of Israel live!”

Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein called Mr Muki a "champion", adding: "It is a great feeling to hear our national anthem... played for the first time in Abu Dhabi."

There was double joy for Israel when Peter Paltchik added a second gold medal to their haul at the competition. 

In the past, Israelis were only allowed to compete at the event if they were the only athletes not to wear their national flag.

In 2015, Ms Regev called this “infuriating and outrageous”.

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