Israel has never been, to put matters mildly, an Olympic powerhouse. The country has long been a much more formidable competitor for Nobel Prizes than for Olympic gold. Thus, when two Israeli athletes, Yarden Gerbi and Or Sasson, each won bronze medals in judo, the country and its press went into a bit of a celebratory frenzy.

Sasson's victory, however, was marred by an intentional snub: As the video of his first-round match shows, when Sasson defeated his Egyptian counterpart, Islam El Shehaby, Sasson approached his opponent and extended his hand. El Shehaby, in a gross violation of Olympic etiquette, refused to shake the Israeli's hand. The judges called him back to the mat for the requisite bow, but even that, El Shehaby barely executed.

The slight made international headlines, and the Israeli press focused on it intently. The Times of Israel offered its readers a bit of consolation by noting that the crowd in Rio booed El Shehaby, while the Jerusalem Post featured this comment by El Shehaby in its headline: "Can't ask me to shake the hand of someone from this State." To Israelis, that was the real point: The snub was symbolic of the Arab street's continuing rejection of the very legitimacy of the Jewish state.