Sunday, 31 May 2009

In Israel even the Players Join in Racist Chants

“Racism in the soccer stadiums is nothing new, but this time players [of Betar Jerusalem] and among them also members of the Israeli national team joined in the racist chants [of the fans]."

This is written on the web site of the Israeli TV station Channel 2 and one can see there also the report about the incident:

On 26 May 2009 Channel 2 cameras photographed Betar players, among them the star Amit Ben Shoshan, singing very happily after they won the Israeli cup a song popular among their fans. A song that goes like this:
What’s salim doing here?
Don’t you know?
What’s going on here I ask?
everywhere I hear that this is the Land of Israel
Toama, this is the Land of Israel
This Is The Land Of Israel, Toama
This Is The Jewish State
I hate you Salim Toama!
I hate all Arabs!

Salim Toama is an Arab soccer player with a Israeli citizenship who plays in the Israeli national team and is now making his living in Belgium with Standard Liege.

The International Football Federation (FIFA), in accordance with its anti-racism campaign should ban Betar and the involved players from participating in any international activities. This is not the first report on Betar racism. This club and especially its fans are considered to be the
most racist in Israel.

(originally posted by Shraga Elam, Zurich/Switzerland)

UK politician: Ban racist Betar players
Jerusalem Post 31 May 2009

A member of the British RESPECT Party has launched an official complaint with FIFA, soccer's world governing body, after Betar Jerusalem players were filmed singing an anti-Arab song following Tuesday's State Cup final victory against Maccabi Haifa at the Ramat Gan National Stadium.

Amit Ben Shushan of Betar Jerusalem, left, shown here during an international match against Slovenia.

Among the players was Amit Ben Shushan, who is also an Israel international.
The song goes like this: "What's Salim doing here? Don't you know? What's going on here I ask? Everywhere I hear that this is the land of Israel, Toama, this is the land of Israel. This is the land of Israel, Toama… I hate you Salim Toama! I hate all the Arabs!"

The chanting was directed at Salim Toama, an Arab-Israeli soccer player who used to play for Betar's fierce rival Hapoel Tel Aviv and who now plays for Belgian club Standard Li├Ęge. He also represents Israel at the international level.

In a column for the Teheran Times the RESPECT member, Yvonne Ridley, called on FIFA to ban Betar and the involved players from participating in any international soccer matches. She also called for the world governing body to impose a heavy fine on the club.

"This is not the first report on Betar racism. This club and especially its fans are considered to be the most racist in Israel," she said. "By the way, the whistle-blower who brought this to my attention is a European Jew who is repulsed by any form of racism regardless of its origins, so any Zionists reading this can stop crying 'anti-Semite'."

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