Betar Jerusalem Football Club set ablaze after ‘hate speech’ charges

Although the fire was without injury, the trophy room of the Football Club & the office of the property caretaker were heavily damaged.

‘The history of Beitar has gone up in flames’

 

By JTA

 

Arsonists set on fire the trophy room of the Betar Jerusalem soccer team one day after the indictment of four of its fans for anti-Muslim hate speech.

Betar Jerusalem fans during match against Maccabi Umm el-Fahm, January 29, 2013.

Betar Jerusalem fans during match against Maccabi Umm el-Fahm, January 29, 2013. – Photo: Nir Elias/Reuters

Assaf Evers, a fire department spokesman, was quoted by Ynet as saying that the fire was caused deliberately early on Friday morning.

No one was hurt in the fire, but the trophy room of the Betar Jerusalem Football Club and the office of property caretaker Meir Harush were heavily damaged. “The history of Beitar has gone up in flamed,” Harush told the news site NRG.

The attack followed the indictments of four Betar Jerusalem fans suspected of incitement against Arabs and Muslims.

On Jan. 26, the indictment said, the four men, all in their 20s, called out “death to the Arabs” while watching a soccer game from the bleachers. One of them is also charged with shouting: “Burn their village.”

The alleged hate speech may have been directed at Dzhabrail Kadiyev and Zaur Sadayev – two Muslim Chechen players from the team Terek Grozny who recently joined the Jerusalem team. Betar is the name of a Zionist youth movement.

On Thursday, 20 representatives of Betar World Zionist youth movement gave Sadayev and Kadiyev flowers to show their appreciation for their joining the soccer team.

Referring to the racist chants, Itzik Cornfein, the soccer club’s chairman, said on Thursday: “We want to see a different, changed Betar.”

 

View original JTA publication at: http://www.jta.org/news/article/2013/02/08/3119121/after-hate-speech-charges-jerusalem-soccer-club-set-on-fire

 

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