Amid all the talk of “nakba” both here and in America, it’s refreshing to hear the voice of an Arab citizen who’s proud to be Israeli.
Earlier this week, Loay Sakas caught the attention of all Israel when he won the gold medal at the International Turkish Open Kickboxing World Cup in Istanbul.
But he really made waves with what he did following that momentous victory.
After defeating his final opponent, Sakas, an Arab Christian from the Western Galilee region, proudly raised an Israeli flag.
He later told Channel 12 News:
“I’m first and foremost an Israeli citizen. I do not care about Judaism, Islam, Christianity or Druze. I represent the country and want everyone here to live in peace with each other.
“I expect every Israeli citizen to wave the Israeli flag. I do not try to rile up people or anything like that. I wave the flag because I am an Israeli citizen.”
With those words, Sakas further demolished the “nakba” narrative that is today being promoted in the US Congress, and belied charges that Israel is an “apartheid” state.
Naturally, the champ faces some criticism from within the Arab community, but Sakas said he also receives a lot of support. At the end of the day, he doesn’t care one way or another.
“People can think what they want; I am Israeli. If I walk down the street and I see someone attacking a Jew, I will protect him.”
With reporting by JNS.