March 28, 2005

ONCE THE HATE'S OUT OF THE BAG... (via Robert Schwartz):

A Dutch Soccer Riddle: Jewish Regalia Without Jews (CRAIG S. SMITH, 3/28/05, NY Times)

Just minutes before a high-stakes soccer game not long ago between this city's home team, Ajax, and their rivals from the southern city of Eindhoven, a chant built to a roar in the hall packed with supporters where they were serving plastic pint cups of Dutch beer.

"Jews, Jews, Jews!" thousands of voices cried.

Outside, souvenir stalls sold Israeli flags or flags with the Ajax logo, the head of the fabled Greek warrior, emblazoned inside the star of David. Fans arrived with hats, jackets and scarves embroidered with Hebrew writing. Until recently, the team's official Web site even featured the ringing tones of Hava Nagila and other Jewish songs that could be downloaded into fans' mobile phones.

Few, if any, of these people are Jewish.

"About thirty years ago, the other teams' supporters started calling us Jews because there was a history of Jews in Ajax," explained Fred Harris, a stocky man with brush-cut hair and a thick gold chain around his neck, "so we took it up as a point of pride and now it has become our identity."

For years, the team's management supported that unique identity. But over time what seemed to many people like a harmless - if peculiar - custom has taken on a more sinister tone. Fans of Ajax's biggest rivals began giving the Nazis' signature straight-arm salute or chanting "Hamas, Hamas!" to provoke Ajax supporters. Ajax games have been marred by shouts of "Jews to the gas!" or simply hissing to simulate the sound of gas escaping.

But, wait, we only support Dutch intolerance towards Muslim immigrants....

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 28, 2005 6:43 AM

There was a story last night about the U.S. soccer team's 2-1 loss to Mexico that mentioned many of the Mexican fans at the game were chanting "Osama! Osama!' at the American team -- which would be shocking, were it not for the fact they chanted the same thing the last time the U.S. team played in Mexico City two years ago. So hate rising to the surface among soccer fans seems to be a univaersal phenominon.

Posted by: John at March 28, 2005 9:09 AM

Osama? No, they meant Obama!

Posted by: Teddy ("hic") Kennedy at March 28, 2005 10:35 AM

Mr. Judd;

I thought you supported intolerance towards those who threatened the social order, such as groups who force members of Parliment in to protective custody. Surely that's a bit more disruptive than say, witchcraft.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at March 28, 2005 12:27 PM

Except that the European social order isn't worth keeping.

Posted by: oj at March 28, 2005 12:39 PM

Soccer fans are hateful, because they have to watch soccer.

This article gives me some hope that the Dutch may yet deal wit the muslim menace.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 28, 2005 1:45 PM

Other than their suicidal immigration policies, what is so bad about the Netherlands social order? They have much lower rates of abortions than America, for example.

Posted by: carter at March 28, 2005 6:29 PM


They have no purpose other than self. It's not their immigration that's suicidal but their cultural nihilism.

Posted by: oj at March 28, 2005 6:55 PM

So nihilism is the motive and immigration is the means?

It isn't clear to me that the Dutch are nihilists, however. I think they deluded themselves into thinking that they were not different than anyone else, so it didn't matter who they let into their country.

Posted by: carter at March 28, 2005 7:09 PM

No, it's the solution.

Posted by: at March 28, 2005 7:46 PM