Analysis |

Israel's Success at the Olympics Reflects a Battle for the Country's Identity

By all means celebrate the triumph of gold medal-winning gymnast Artem Dolgopyat, but don’t forget the hurdles he and many other immigrants have had to overcome to be accepted in Israel

Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer

Gymnast Artem Dolgopyat had never heard of Israel before he was told, at age 12, that his family was about to emigrate there. He was barely aware that his family was Jewish. As of Sunday morning, he’s an Israeli hero: Only the second Olympic gold medal winner in the country’s history, and its first-ever medal in a major sport such as gymnastics.

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