Israeli weightlifters to take part in Saudi Arabia hosted competition
Another Israeli team will land in Saudi Arabia to take part in a weightlifting competition following a FIFAe team's participation in July where the Israeli anthem was played.
An Israeli weightlifting delegation comprising four athletes is currently participating in the World Weightlifting Championship for adults in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, marking yet another instance of cultural normalization with "Israel".
The competition, which runs from September 3 to 17, will allow Israeli athletes, if successful, to secure participation tickets for the upcoming Olympic Games.
The Israeli contingent includes David Litvinov, competing in the 109-kilogram category, and Artur Mokhderdov in the 102-kilogram category. Additionally, two female athletes, Vasilisa Gold and Nicole Rubinovich, are representing "Israel" in the 71-kilogram category.
Currently, Saudi Arabia does not maintain official diplomatic relations with the occupation's government. However, "Israel" has utilized sports in various instances as a gateway into Arab nations, a strategy which was seen on a full scale during The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where Israelis including media outlets were allowed into Qatar to take part in the event.
Earlier in July, another opportunity to sportswash its occupation of the Palestinian people, "Israel's" FIFAe team took part in a competition in Riyadh where their anthem was played in the Kingdom for the first time.
International competitions: A gateway to cultural normalization
In December, the Israeli delegation is also set to compete in another international event, this time in Doha, Qatar, another Arab state without formal diplomatic ties with "Israel".
David Litvinov, expressing his enthusiasm about competing in Riyadh, has confirmed that comprehensive security measures are in place to ensure the safety of the athletes during their time in Riyadh, which comes amid intense popular opposition in the Arab World to normalization with "Israel".
The federation will follow a similar strategy utilized by the FIFAe team by deploying an Israeli security team, which will coordinate with local authorities to secure the weightlifting team's security during their stay in Saudi.
Pavel Kolosovski, the executive director of the Israeli Weightlifting Federation, said that the organization of the competition in Saudi Arabia adheres to the criteria set by the International Olympic Committee and the World Wrestling Federation, allowing athletes from all nations to enter and compete.
It is worth noting that the participation of the Israeli team in the sporting event coincides with high-level talks led by the United States, which aim to establish a normalization deal between Riyadh and "Tel Aviv", as reported by Axios. Furthermore, the news website indicates that the Palestinian Authority will be participating in discussions this week to ensure that its interests concerning Palestinian statehood are not ignored in an expected Saudi-Israeli deal.