June 27, 2008


Is Europe Repainting Its Nazi Past? (Janet Levy, 6/26/08, American Thinker)

In recent years, soccer crowds have gone so far as to simulate the hissing of Nazi gas chambers, pairing the sound with Nazi salutes. In Belgium, Muslim fans at a soccer match between Israel and Belgium shouted "Jews to the gas chambers" and "strangle the Jews," while waving Hamas and Hezbollah flags. Freed from the restraints of acceptable behavior, with inhibitions loosened by alcohol consumption and the intense camaraderie of team spirit, soccer fans freely unleash anti-Semitic slurs with abandon and without fear of retribution.

This alarming behavior prompts questions as to whether anti-Semitism is becoming acceptable again in a Europe that has forgotten its Nazi past, and whether guilt has been supplanted by denial. Is the era of Nazism being re-examined and re-framed in a more positive light that contributes to such gratuitous and ugly outbursts?

No. Soccer is just conducive to such behavior.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 27, 2008 3:27 PM

Clearly Hamas and Hezbollah are even more conducive to such behavior, given that this doesn't happen at most soccer matches around the world, but does wherever Hamas or Hezbollah are.

Posted by: PapayaSF at June 27, 2008 11:51 PM

I think Janet Levy is stone cold crazy. This kind of stuff gets games stopped, press involved, and I haven't heard a thing about this.

HOWEVER, songs like these are chanted by the hooligans supporting the Amsterdam and Rotterdam teams and have been for at least a decade. Historically the Amsterdam supporters have referred to themselves as 'Jews' and can sometimes be seen carrying the Israeli flag. This is why the Rotterdam supporters make hissing noises and chant 'Hamas Hamas Jews to the gas'. In response the Amsterdam supporters sing something like 'What the Luftwaffe could not do / Will be finished by the Jew', referring to the aerial bombardment of Rotterdam which led to the surrender of the Dutch forces in WWII.

So what I'm thinking is Janet heard a couple of anecdotes from confused friends, decided she deserved a trip to Europe, and concocted this entire story out of thin air.

Posted by: Dutch at June 28, 2008 7:04 AM

Or she reads the papers:


Posted by: oj at June 28, 2008 9:55 AM

To the contrary, things like the pro-Hamas chants at Ajax games have nothing to do with either Jews or Arabs.

Posted by: oj at June 28, 2008 10:04 AM

Soccer is just conducive to such behavior.

No. Europeans just act like Europeans. It has nothing to do with something endemic about soccer. Europeans act like Europeans, even at games of American football:


That took 10 seconds to find. I'm sure there are better examples.

Posted by: Tom at June 28, 2008 11:25 AM

The only reference I can find to anti-semitic chants by Arabs or Muslims in Belgium in either the Dutch, Belgium, German or English press is this, by an associate of the Belgian nationalist/nativist party Vlaamsbelang:


...and this concerns a match played in 2004.

So until further notice I am going to have to assume that the game referred to by ms. Levy either did not occur or she's reporting old news.

Posted by: Dutch at June 28, 2008 6:25 PM





Posted by: oj at June 28, 2008 11:04 PM


Dates back to January 2004.


Dates back to November 2005 (and did not involve members of the audience).


Not related to anti-semitism.


Not related to anti-semitism.

Posted by: Dutch at June 29, 2008 4:06 AM

Quite, Belgian soccer has a number of racist/anti-Semitic incidents over the past few years.

Shrugging them off is pretty much what we expect of you.

Posted by: oj at June 29, 2008 8:17 AM

The point is that racism and anti-semitism in soccer are not recent developments and it is debatable whether it has gotten worse over the years. There is no "news" here, yet the tone of the article suggests otherwise. That makes it a disingenuous and pointless article that, if anything, should have been written five years ago.

Posted by: Dutch at June 29, 2008 4:19 PM

Why would Americans notice anything about soccer or Europe overly quickly? The persistence is noteworthy, if not news to the continent.

Posted by: oj at June 29, 2008 6:49 PM
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