Jerusalem, March 7, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed outrage and concern over severe and violent disturbances, and racist catcalls during a soccer game between Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Tel Aviv yesterday.
According to media reports, during the soccer game, players from Hapoel Tel Aviv attempted to attack the referee, fans acted with unprecedented violence against players from the opposing team and sang Holocaust songs.
The ADL Israel Office issued the following statement:
We see with gravity that a football game in Israel has turned into a violent brawl in which racist catcalls and Holocaust songs are being heard. This behavior has no place in society.
Threats, violence and racism hurt the principles of fair game and stand in contradiction of the essence of sport as a uniting element and a sphere in which all feel safe and equal. Yesterday's events should be considered as a warning sign to the Israeli public. We call upon the Football Association and the Israel Police to make sure that those responsible will be punished to the full extent of the law.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.