Beitar players celebrate cup win with racist songs

Posted: May 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, racism, The Right | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »
Beitar fans with a Kahana flag. photo by Roni Shizer / Haaretz

Beitar fans with a Kahana flag. photo by Roni Shizer / Haaretz

I’ve claimed here before that racism and hate-talk towards Arabs are becoming more and more legitimate in Israel. You find racism everywhere these days: in the comments on all major news sites, in the Knesset, on Facebook groups, and on football grounds.

On Tuesday evening, Beitar Jerusalem, the most popular football team in Israel, won the League cup after beating Maccabi Haifa 2:1 in the final. Beitar’s fans celebrated the event with their typical racist songs, but this time, the channel 2 camera caught the players joining them in singing. On this link you can see Beitar’s young star, Amit Ben Shushan (who play on the Israeli national team as well), singing “I hate Salim Tuama (an Israeli Arab football star, who also plays for the national team), I hate all the Arabs”. Other players joined the songs as well.

When Beitar won the cup last year, the team’s players refused to shake the hand of (then) Arab Sports Minister, Raleb Majadele, due to of some comments he made towards the team and its fans. Beitar wasn’t punished for this, and one can assume this time won’t be different. But where Israeli Authorities fail, international institutions can help. The European Football Association should make it clear to the Israeli Association that this sort of behavior will result with the explusion of Israeli teams, starting with Beitar, from International competitions. As a football fan, this is something that will be very painful for me, but I don’t see any other option right now.

IFA finally acts against Beitar’s racist fans

Posted: May 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: racism, The Right | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »
Beitar fans with a "No Arabs" sign. photo:

Beitar fans with a "No Arabs" sign. photo:

One of the funniest incidents in the history of Israeli football – which is usually more tragic than comic – happened during a Game between Hapoel Tel aviv and Beitar Jerusalem in 1969. The matches between the two were always tense. Sport clubs in Israel developed as branches of political parties; Hapeol was the Histadrut’s, and therefore the Labor’s team, while Beitar was just what its name declared – the team of Beitar, meaning the old Revisionists, Begin’s Herut and later on, the Likud. So troubles were almost inevitable.

The 1969 game happened to be the biggest game in the short career of Roni Calderon, Hapoel’s brilliant attacker. Calderon scored twice. On the second time, legend has it that he dribbled through Beitar’s defense, passed a few players, then the goalkeeper, only to find himself in front of a Beitar fan – a soldier armed with an Uzi – standing on the goal line. But Calderon – who later escaped a Brazilian prison were he served time for drug offenses, and is still said to be hiding in the Tropics – wasn’t easily intimidated. He scored, the rest of the Beitar crowd stormed the pitch, and thus the game ended.

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Beitar Jerusalem

Posted: December 6th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: The Right, The Settlements | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »


This picture of teenage settlers at the “House of Contention” in Hebron was taken by Tess Scheflan from Haaretz. The kid on the left is wearing a Beitar Jerusalem scarf. Beitar’s fans take pride in their racism. The fan’s forums are full of racist and anti Arab comments, and “death to Arabs” shouts are very common at the team’s games. one of the reasons the Israeli national team doesn’t play often at Jerusalem’s excellent stadium is because the crowd there boos the team’s Arab players.

It is not the first time Beitar fans are involved in non-football-related attacks on Arabs. A few months ago a security camera in a north Jerusalem mall caught these images, of a planned attack and stabbing of an Arab. As you can see, some of the attackers wear Beitar Jerusalems shirts.

The attacked occurred on the Holocaust Memorial Day.