Racism in football, Israel and Egypt: Contrast in Guardian coverage


The Guardian has devoted five separate stories (including three videos) in their coverage of recent acts of anti-Muslim racism by fans of the Israeli football team, Beitar Jerusalem, who are unhappy with the club’s decision to sign two Chechen Muslim players.





fiveA few additional facts:

  • “Beitar’s owner, Arcadia Gaydamak, refused to bow to the fans’ pressure. “As far as I’m concerned, there is no difference between a Jewish player and a Muslim player…”
  • “Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Friday’s apparent arson attack was “shameful”, adding: “The Jewish people, [who have] suffered boycotts and persecution, should be a light unto other nations.””
  • “President Shimon Peres said the entire country was shocked, and former prime minister Ehud Olmert, a Beitar fan for more than 40 years, said that he would no longer attend matches because of fans’ behaviour.”
  • “Israel’s attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, said police would take action against any “manifestation of [racism] that crosses the line into a criminal act”. The Israeli Football Association imposed a 50,000 shekels (£8,595) fine on the club for the racist slogans of its fans and ordered the closure of the eastern stand of its stadium, where hardcore fans congregate, for five matches.”


On April 6, 2011, scores of football fans in Egypt hurled gigantic banners with the words:

One Nation for a new Holocaust [against the Jews].


There are no Jews on any of Egypt’s football teams, and there are merely three dozen Jewish citizens left in the entire country.  (There were over 75,000 in 1948.)

More importantly, in contrast to the reaction in Israel:

  • Is it even conceivable that Egyptian authorities investigated those who hurled the antisemitic banners on April 6?
  • Will criminal hate crime charges be brought against the culprits?
  • Have any Egyptian public officials denounced such an ugly display of racism by Egyptian football fans?
  • Are ordinary Egyptian citizens outraged by such despicable behavior?

While the questions above are largely rhetorical, there is one important question which we no longer even need to ask, as the answer was found by a web and Lexis-Nexus search: 

The Guardian didn’t devote even one story to the pro-genocide messages at an Egypt football stadium on April 6, 2011.

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