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Anti-Semitic Hungarian soccer fans give Hitler salute

  • 1-Milner Jack
Hungary versus Iceland at Euro 2016 in France. No Jews on the field and probably just a few in the stands. What on earth a section of the Hungarian soccer fans believed they could gain from giving a Nazi salute during the match, is a total mystery.
by JACK MILNER | Jun 22, 2016

Now French police are investigating the incident. The fans are believed by police to be far-right “ultras” (soccer enthusiasts whose fanaticism about the game often erupts into violence), who were wearing identical black shirts with the word “Magyarország” (Hungary) in white letters, as they made the Hitlerian gesture en masse, in the direction of the competing team.

According to the Daily Mail, a police source said the incident “could lead to prosecutions under anti-racism laws and legislation aimed at combating anti-Semitism”.

The explanation given is that the Stade Velodrome, the stadium in Marseilles where the match took place, is located near a Jewish district, whose residents regularly complain of verbal and physical intimidation at the hands of anti-Semites.

The Hungarian fans under investigation were seen climbing over segregation walls in the stadium after the match and brawling with stewards. Riot police from the Republican Security Companies and plain-clothed officers had to intervene to restore order.

This is only one of many violent incidents that have occurred since the opening of Europe’s quadrennial football championship on June 10, which is to continue until July 10.

England fans have been arrested for clashes on the streets of Marseille, while Russian and Ireland supporters were also caught fighting in the streets of Nice. Ukraine and German fans were apparently battling outside a bar in Lille last week.

It is interesting that a new survey - conducted by the Median Opinion and Market Research Institute on behalf of the watchdog group the Action and Protection Foundation - a third of Hungarians hold anti-Semitic views, a phenomenon that jibes with “general xenophobic attitudes (are) found to be rampant in Hungarian society”.

In addition, the third largest political party in Hungary is the far-right Jobbik, which won 20 per cent of the parliamentary votes in the 2014 election. Jobbik is growing in popularity across Hungary and party leaders have spoken out against what they call “Zionist Israel’s efforts to dominate Hungary and the world”.

Looking at individual players in the teams taking place in the European jamboree, Jews seem to be as rare as an elephant in the middle of the Sahara.

In the World Cup the teams from the United States and occasionally South America, sometimes contain Jewish players but it is quite rare in the European tournament.  

I could not find anybody at this tournament who is definitely Jewish; there are questions about a French player named Antoine Griezmann who had a fantastic World Cup in 2014, coming on as a substitute and scoring the winning goal in a knock-out game against Nigeria. However, he could equally be of German descent and there is nothing to indicate he is Jewish.

Sometimes we just have to accept it: There just isn’t a Jewish angle. It seems this unbridled hatred against anything Jewish, doesn’t need any angle.

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