UFC must ‘fight’ its own dangerous antisemitism – opinion

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Unlike boxing, anything in the United Fighting Championships (UFC), a mixed martial arts league followed by millions, goes into the octagon ring. However, some recent high-profile fighters’ social media punch lines have crossed the line into anti-Semitism and support for terrorism. It’s time for the UFC to address and combat the moral turpitude that tarnishes its image and fuels anti-Semitic violence.

Since Hamas The October 7 Massacre.A number of UFC fighters have spoken out against Israel and Gaza following the Hamas terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 1,200 innocent civilians, including children, who were raped, beheaded and burned alive. Criticism of Israel, while not inherently anti-Semitic, can cross over into anti-Semitism, according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition. The definition of world leader anti-Semitism.

Dagestani UFC fighter Muhammed Mokaev echoes classic anti-Semitic tropes in his efforts to dehumanize those from the world’s only Jewish state. Instead of calling Jews savages who kill children for ritualistic purposes, he calls Israelis “filthy animals who kill children every day.” Mokayev’s sympathies are clearly with the Jews, the majority of the population of Israel. On October 7, when Hamas carried out its worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, Mokayev tweeted “Palestine” with a heart emoji in support of Hamas – a massacre of civilians by terrorists as a war between Palestinians and Israelis.

UFC fighter Kamzat Chimayev from Chechnya also supported the Palestinians on the day of the massacre. On October 7, he shared a photo of the Dome of the Rock surrounded by the Palestinian flag and the Hamas flag. The photo is captioned with heart emojis. Earlier Chaimev’s comment deserves attention.

One post, which was eventually deleted from the social media site, showed a screenshot of what appeared to be a video of a Jew in Jerusalem’s Old City. Chimav captioned the post, “You are only guests of Palestine… One day you will be kicked out of Palestine, Inshallah. [God Willing]… Give me the mighty man of Israel. I will break it.” As if dreaming of ethnic cleansing of the Jews was not enough, Chimev tried to equate Israel’s policy with that of the Nazis, a tactic that is anti-Semitic by the IHRA definition. A picture of Netanyahu and Hitler, side by side, seems to convey their similarities.

Muhammad Mokayev in 2022 (Credit: SPORTLEADER TV / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Dagestan fighters insult Israel, then rogue group attacks airport in Dagestan

Reigning UFC lightweight champion Islam Makachev has falsely accused Israel of targeting civilians in a press conference following his defense of his lightweight championship belt. While the Biden administration acknowledged Israel’s efforts to prevent civilian casualties, in the world’s spotlight, Makachev demonized the Israelis, saying, “They [Israel] They don’t kill some terrorists or like people… they kill the children. You old people know.

This statement was made on October 21, five days later in Makachev’s Dagestan hometown of Makhachkala. Criminals with 150 people raided the airport Finding Israelis and Jews from Israel. A few days later, a Jewish center in another town in Russia’s North Caucasus burned down. The rabbi of Dagestan assessed that the future of the Jews in Dagestan is now in doubt.

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Actor and activist Nathaniel Buzolik has since “looked into it. [the airport mob] It was inspired… by a certain individual. A UFC fighter hails from that region of the world. After the war, he publicly said something about how he would fight and stand with the Palestinian people. He clearly said that it was against Israel. . . .

While it’s questionable who exactly this fighter is, athletes are highly influential, and the above three fighters from or near Dagestan have misused the platform to incite hatred against Israel and Jews with their misinformation and anti-Semitism. And so is now-retired Dagestan UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov, who wrongly accused Israel of bombing Al Ahli Hospital and committing genocide. The consequences of the actions of these fighters could have been fatal if the passengers from Israel had not been rescued in time.

The UFC has grounds for punishing fighters for anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist comments. The UFC’s Athlete Conduct Policy states that violations involving “suspensions, contract penalties and/or contract termination” may be imposed.[i]Inappropriate physical, verbal and online behavior (such as inappropriate comments via e-mail, text messages or social networks).

As UFC fighters seem to incite anti-Semitism and terrorism all over social media, the consequences can be deadly, especially as anti-Semitism is on the rise globally. The UFC needs to uphold its code of conduct and quell the anti-Semitism emanating from the Octagon before it becomes truly deadly.

Jordan Cope, Esq., is director of policy education at StandWithUs, an international nonprofit education organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism and misinformation about Israel.







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