Jan Koum, the CEO of mobile messaging app WhatsApp, has chosen to share on his Facebook page a YouTube video of Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, after the organizers of a judo tournament in Abu Dhabi refused to play it when Israeli athlete Tal Flicker won the gold.
Jan Koum Photo credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
In response to Israeli athletes receiving discriminatory treatment in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam judo tournament last week, Jan Koum, the CEO and co-founder of WhatsApp, has chosen to voice his support for Israel by sharing a video of Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah, on his Facebook page.
“Since they refuse to raise Israeli flag or play Israeli anthem at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam judo tournament, I am just going to leave this here,” Koum wrote Saturday when he posted the video.
Tal Flicker from Israel won a gold medal Thursday in the men’s lightweight category, but when he stepped onto the podium, the flag of Israel was not raised and the anthem of the International Judo Federation (IJF) was played instead of Hatikvah.
MK Michael Oren from the Kulanu party, formerly the Israeli US ambassador, praised the Israeli athletes for their achievements and denounced the UAE on his Facebook page. “No identifying signs of being Israeli at the Grand Slam? Tal, Gili, Tohar, Uri and Peter – you are the symbol and you are the flag,” he wrote. “Your triumph in Abu Dhabi is so exciting and makes us all proud. My congratulations, champions!”