Friday October 1, 2021
“Damn the Jews”
Anger at anti-Semitism at Union Spell
In the Europa League match of the Berlin Football Association, there appeared to be anti-Semitic acts against fans of the Israeli club Maccabi Haifa. Guests praise the “hospitality” of the Berliners, and accidents at the stadium in the meantime are causing trouble.
After the European Cup match in the Conference League between 1. FC Union and Maccabi Haifa (3-0), the youth forum of the German Israel Association complained of anti-Semitic behavior by fans of the German club Berlin. “In the mixed building we were threatened by Union fans, pelted with beer and insulted, among other things, as ‘Deceitful Jews’,” she said on Twitter late in the evening. “Several witnesses” reported “a constant attack”. Then the infected group left the block.
“However, four of us stayed in the mixed building, and one of them had a cardboard Israel flag. Then a union fan tried to set it on fire,” the Junge Forum tweeted. This was prevented by the intervention of the plainclothes police. Meanwhile, other fans in Berlin have spoken out against anti-Semitic behaviour, according to the Junge Forum. 1. FC Union Berlin responded to the incidents on its Twitter account and demanded that ban and seat numbers be given to identify the spectators involved.
The Maccabi Haifa guest appearance was the first appearance of an Israeli football team at the Berlin Olympic Stadium built by the National Socialists for the 1936 Olympic Games. Union Berlin is not allowed to play its home matches at its own stadium in Alte Försterei in the Köpenick region due to UEFA regulations regarding spectator capacity.
McCabe praises ‘hospitality’
Maccabi Haifa has not yet commented on the allegations, but praised the generally peaceful atmosphere. “Thank you so much for your hospitality. It was an exciting match in front of you as well as in front of our fans and also in this very meaningful stadium. Thank you and see you again in Israel,” the Israeli champions wrote on Twitter.
During the match, a cheerful mood reigned among 23,324 spectators. About 1,000 Haifa fans cheered for their team with the same passion that Al-Ittihad showed with their team. On the day of the match, a high-ranking iron delegation welcomed the guests from Israel to their stadium. On Wednesday, Maccabi Haifa representatives visited the Holocaust memorial in Berlin and laid a wreath.
In 2019, a fan posted an anti-Semitic tweet during a match between then-second division Union Berlin and FC Ingolstadt, which the club reported based on information from Ingolstadt. At the time, Union published a long statement in which President Dirk Zingler strongly condemned the incident. “I am ashamed of these unionists,” he was quoted as saying. “We will do everything in our power to isolate and prosecute them. The Federation stands for human and democratic values. Those who do not share these values have lost nothing in our club and in our stadium. We must fight resolutely against the brutality of our team. The community and its leadership constantly, as well as in our ranks.” The Football Association is asking all unionists to “support the fight against any kind of discrimination. The union stands for humanity and tolerance!” The club has yet to officially comment on the current incident from the European Conference League.