Maccabi Haifa fans face antisemitic insult in Berlin

Maccabi Haifa fans have beer cans thrown at them while being called „sh***y Jews”.

The Union Berlin team welcomed the Maccabi Haifa on Thursday in Berlin’s Olympiastadion for the European Conference League game. The stadium was built for the 1936 Olympics. The Israeli team played in the complex for the first time – reported The Times of Israel.

The more than 23 thousand fans included about a thousand Maccabi fans. According to the Twitter post of the Junges Forum Deutsch-Israelische Gesellschaft, some of the fans in the mixed block were insulted by the home team’s fans.

They wrote that they had beer thrown at them, and among other things, they were called „sh***y Jews.” One of the Union fans tried to set an Israeli flag on fire, taking it from a female Maccabi fan, until police intervened. „There were also Union fans who spoke up against this behavior. We moved to the Maccabi block to be on the safe side,” the society said.

The Union team said before the game that they would host the employees of the Israeli Embassy, the representatives of the House of One Jewish-Christian-Islamic dialogue project, the athletes of the local club of the Maccabi Haifa and others as well. „We know that this game is of very special importance beyond the sporting side for our guests from Haifa and the Jewish community in Berlin,” Union president Dirk Zingler said.

Maccabi Haifa did not mention the incident after the game. „Thank you for the great hospitality. It was an exciting game in front of your, and also our, fans, and also in this stadium, which has its meaning,” the club said on Twitter. „Thank you, and till we see each other again in Israel.”

However, according to the fan blog of the Union Berlin, Texilvergehen, the words „disgusting” and „absolutely shameful” wouldn’t even describe the abusive incident. „We failed as a community. (…) It is our duty that Jewish people feel safe in Germany. On Thursday evening, we yet again proved that we are unable to do so. We cannot provide safety, neither for the Israeli, nor the German Jews. Obviously, it still matters whether you are Jewish or not if you want to enjoy a soccer game undisturbed,” Sebastian Fiebrig wrote in his article.

The Junges Forum Deutsch-Israelische Gesellschaft expressed their appreciation for the support of most of the fans. „Thank you for the wave of solidarity online and to the Union fans who showed their solidarity with us in the stadium!” „The majority of Unioners welcomed Maccabi in a friendly manner and celebrated soccer together.” By the way, the home team won the game 3:0.