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September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘soccer’

NBA’s Tony Parker Apologizes for Anti-Semitic Salute

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

National Basketball Association star Tony Parker has apologized for performing an anti-Semitic salute after a three-year-old photo was published in the French media.

The photo shows Parker, who was born in Belgium and is French by nationality, performing the quenelle salute earlier this year standing next to the gesture’s founder, anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne Mlaba Mlaba, backstage at a theatre in France.

The quenelle is a quasi-Nazi salute designed to circumvent France’s laws against displaying Nazi symbols.

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League had called on Parker, who plays point guard for the San Antonio Spurs, to apologize for performing the salute.

“While this gesture has been part of French culture for many years, it was not until recently that I learned of the very negative concerns associated with it,” Parker said in a statement released late Monday by Parker’s team, the San Antonio Spurs.

“When l was photographed making that gesture three years ago, I thought it was part of a comedy act, and did not know that it could be in any way offensive or harmful. Since I have been made aware of the seriousness of this gesture, I will certainly never repeat the gesture and sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding or harm relating to my actions,” Parker said in the statement.

The ADL praised Parker’s apology. “We call on those who have posed with the quenelle to follow Parker’s lead and stop using it. Responsible public figures should condemn those who use a gesture which was created to express anti-Semitism,” the ADL said in a statement.

Reports of the Parker salute came a day after soccer player Nicolas Anelka, a French national playing for Britain’s West Bromwich Albion soccer team, was roundly condemned for performing the salute during a match on Saturday. Britain’s Football Association has launched an investigation of the Anelka incident.

In a letter sent Tuesday to the Football Association and the UEFA, the governing body of European football, European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor called for a fight against anti-Semitism in football, especially in the wake of the Anelka salute.

“At the European Jewish Congress, we regularly receive reports of attacks on Jews, whether verbal or physical, which also include acts of anti-Semitism at matches involving English and European football clubs,” Kantor wrote in letters to Greg Dyke, chairman of The Football Association and Michel Platini, president of UEFA. “Mr. Anelka’s recent action is a reminder that hatred of Jews in the stands can very easily find its way right on to the pitch. Similarly, the legitimization of anti-Semitic acts by players who are supposed to act as role models for youth is a particularly dangerous phenomenon, and one that is not restricted to Anelka alone,” Kantor’s letter read.

Kantor and the EJC offered their cooperation to the football associations to help fight anti-Semitism.

German Soccer Team Boycotts Saudi Airline that Banned Israelis

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

A German soccer team withdrew from a sponsorship agreement with Saudi Arabia’s national airline because it refuses to ticket Israeli citizens.

The FSV Frankfurt team abrogated the contract with Saudia this week after criticism leveled by Jewish groups and other organizations, according to the Associated Press.

The airline’s director told The New York Post in July that it does not fly Israeli citizens because they are not allowed into Saudi Arabia. In the case of a delayed or rerouted plane, Jews could land in the country, which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

PA Soccer Teams’ Honoring Terrorists Illustrate Culture of Terror

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Two recent Palestinian Authority soccer tournaments included four teams named after terrorists who were behind some of the most lethal attacks that murdered Israeli civilians, Palestinian Media Watch reported Wednesday.

The games were not played in official Palestinian Authority tournaments, but the official PA daily’s reportage of the tournament’s “success to the souls of…martyrs” illustrates a culture of terror that has permeated the Palestinian Authority in education, politics and sports ever since the era of Yasser Arafat, who was a Palestinian as much as you and your mother-in-law. He was born in Egypt.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commented after Wednesday’s fatal terrorist stabbing of a soldier by a terrorist from Jenin that “the incitement through official channels of the Palestinian Authority and schools must stop.”

It is too late.

The United States for more than two decades has turned two blind eyes and two deaf ears to constant incitement in which an entire generation has been brainwashed into thinking that life is a lot nicer when you can kill Jews and know.

The Oslo Accords of 1993 committed the Palestinian Authority to halt all incitement. The Bush Administration ignored official PA encouragement to murder Israelis, and the Obama administration has done worse be publicly stating it does not exist. President Barack Obama has said on a number of occasions that Mahmoud Abbas has stopped incitement.

Official PA incitement has been documented hundreds of times on these pages and in other media, ranging from official PA documents and maps showing the Palestinian Authority flag to wave over all of Israel to Abbas’ praise for terrorists, including honors in public squares.

With the adoption of the populist term of “resistance,” terror has officially been eliminated. Simply don’t say the word and it does not exist.

That is the only way to explain U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry remarkably stupid remark last week that Israel faces a third intifada because of its refusal to hand over most of Israel to Abbas on a silver platter.

When soccer teams are named after murderers, Abbas does not have to incite, but the fact that he allows soccer teams to be named after Yahya Ayyash, Dalal Mughrabi, and Ghassan Kanafan reflects tacit enthusiasm for their barbaric acts.

PMW reminds us that Ayyash was the first Hamas suicide bomb builder and planner, known as “the Engineer,” and is considered the founder of Palestinian suicide terror. He was behind attacks killing dozens of Israelis and injuring hundreds. Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history in 1978, when she and other terrorists hijacked a bus on the Coastal Road and killed 37 civilians, 12 of them children.

Kanafani was a writer and a leader of the terror organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP has planned and carried out numerous terror attacks against Israeli civilians since its founding in 1967.

All three teams bearing the names of these terrorist played in a tournament at Al Quds University in Shechem.

A fourth team that played in another tournament was named after terrorist Ziyad Da’as, a commander of the Tanzim, a faction of Abbas’ Fatah party,

Da’as planned the attack at a Bat-Mitzvah celebration in Hadera on Jan. 17, 2002, in which a terrorist gunman killed six and wounded dozens. He  also participated in the kidnapping and murder of Etgar Zeituni and Motti Dayan in Tulkarm in January 2001. Israeli military police killed him killed during a clash in 2002.

Although the Palestinian Authority did not run the tournaments, PMW translated and published a report by the PA official daily.

“At the end of the special tournament, the heroic martyrs who fulfilled their duty to the homeland were honored,” the newspaper wrote. “Mohammed Tamouni, the martyr’s brother, dedicated the big win and the tournament’s success to the souls of his brother and all of Palestine’s martyrs, who are more honorable than all of us. Tamouni said that this tournament will continue to take place annually in order to remember the heroes whom we will never forget.”

Other teams were named after more “minor” terrorists, such as Amer Nassar, killed in 2013 by the Israeli army after throwing a Molotov cocktail at a military post.

British Soccer Team Apologizes for Nazi-Style Picture

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Britain’s Manchester United soccer club, which has a large Jewish following, has sent an e-mail apology to its fans for an “unintended” offense from a graphic of a Swastika-style image under the headline “New Order,” a phrase identified with Hitler.

The graphic included the letters MUFC, Manchester United Football Club.

The club claimed that the term “New Order” related to the club’s band that has the same name, but it could not explain why the design of the graphic was in the form of a swastika.

“While the headline was intended to reference the band of the same name, it has been pointed out that the graphic had design similarities to a swastika which, combined with other connotations of the phrase ‘new order’, has caused offense which was entirely unintended,” according to a statement from Manchester United.

Manchester United’s media director David Sternberg tweeted to angry supporters, “The creative is completely inappropriate; we apologize unreservedly and are taking appropriate internal action.”

Anti-Semitism is not new in British soccer. The Tottenham soccer team, largely backed by Jewish money, has a relatively large Jewish following and has been a favorite target of anti-Semites, complete with Nazi salutes by opposing team fans, who also like to make hissing noises to sound like the gas chambers.

The term “yid” has been used so much that Tottenham’s own Jewish following began using the term as badge of honor, sparking a debate over a proposal that anyone should be arrested for shouting the word “Yid” from the stands.

The intellectual level of the anti-Semitic hobby of British soccer fans can be measured by last year’s statement by Brian Laws, the manager of the Scunthorpe United club, who described his team’s loss on the field “as bad as the Holocaust.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has denounced the anti-Semitism, saying that it “has no place in football or society in general.” It added, “For football fans to use Holocaust imagery and chants glorifying Adolf Hitler is grossly offensive to the Jewish community and is a stain upon the character of British football.”

The Board also has condemned the use of the word “Yid,” whether by Jewish or non-Jewish Tottenham fans.

Temple Mount Reopened to Jews and Arab Soccer Game Halted (+ Video)

Monday, October 21st, 2013

After the Temple Mount was closed to Jews for almost a week, the Israeli police permitted Jewish access to the holy site on Sunday.

The police closed the site after a group of Jews had the audacity to pray ‘Shema Yisrael’ out loud and then pulled out an Israeli flag.

Dozens of Jews went up to the Temple Mount on Sunday.

In what is an unusual response, after the Jewish visitors complained to the police about the Arabs playing soccer on the Temple Mount, which is both illegal and disrespectful, the police actually confiscated the ball, and stopped the game. At best, the Arabs simply ignore the police, and at worst, the the police simply let the soccer games continue unabated, despite the court order forbidding this disrespect on the Judaism’s holiest site.

Source: The Temple Mount Blog

Beitar Jerusalem Announces Shabbat Ban on Soccer Games

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

The Beitar Jerusalem soccer team announced that it will stop playing on Shabbat in order to allow its religious and traditional fans to attend team home games.

Home games will be held on Saturday nights or weekdays, according to the announcement by the team’s new owner Eli Tabib.

Beitar Jerusalem made headlines earlier this year when the signing of two Chechen Muslims, leading to fan protests and the torching of the team’s trophy room. Fans also attacked several Arabs at Jerusalem’s Malha Mall earlier this year.

Israel Gives up ‘HaTikvah’ Anthem for the Sake of Peres’ Peace

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Israel set itself up for humiliation last week by staging a visit of the Barcelona soccer team at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield stadium without the playing of the HaTikvah national anthem.

The visit was headlined around the world as another effort by the Peres Peace Center to try to convince itself that the Palestinian Authority really wants co-existence with Israel. The soccer team also played in Bethlehem, where the Palestinian Authority anthem was sung, according to the Hebrew-language Yediot Acharonot  newspaper.

Obviously, the Israeli anthem would be sung in Tel Aviv, Israel’s capital according to the entire world outside of Israel, but it was not so obvious to the office of President Shimon Peres and the Foreign  Ministry.

Before the game in Tel Aviv, a meeting was held at the stadium, where representatives from other governments said that if the Israeli anthem were to played, then the same honor would have to be extended to the Palestinian Authority , Spain and an autonomous community of Spain, with the official status of a nationality.

“After discussions with the production team and the Foreign Ministry it was said that said it would be unpleasant,” senior officials from the office of President Peres reasoned. After all, playing four anthems would drag things out a bit, so they got by with playing only the Catalan anthem.

But why didn’t the same reasoning apply when the Barcelona team played in Bethlehem?

No one really had an answer for that, but it can be assumed that the Palestinian Authority would have threatened to cancel the soccer team’s visit if anyone had dared even mentioning the word HaTikvah.

Israel, of course, is always ready to make peace, and who needs a Zionist anthem anyway? That would only contradict  chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s terms for peace.

So even though organizers had agreed for it to be sung in Tel Aviv and even though singer David D’or was to sing HaTikvah, the announcement arrived that that it was cancelled.

Education Minister Shai Piron, of the Yesh Atid party, was not so condescending and announced that his ministry would not pay its share of 1 million shekels to finance the visit.

“If there is someone whose feelings are hurt hearing the Israeli national anthem, then they shouldn’t come at all,” ministry officials told the newspaper. “It is first-class chutzpah to come to the heart of Tel Aviv and then ask us not to play our anthem. And it is even a greater audacity by the organizers and the people of the Peres Center that they lowered their heads and agreed to it. It’s a scandal that would not have  passed quietly in  any civilized country. “

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel-gives-up-hatikvah-anthem-for-the-sake-of-peres-peace/2013/08/08/

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