Soc­cer ‘stars’ they’re all gun­ning for

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JESSICA ELGOT

ANTI-RACISM CAM­PAIGN­ERS have con­demned an Arse­nal fan­site which uses stars of David to de­note which mem­bers have do­nated the least to the site.

Mem­bers of the Arse­nal fan fo­rum We Are The Herd, which has more than 1,000 mem­bers, must do­nate in or­der to ac­cess cer­tain ar­eas of the site. Mem­bers who have not do­nated have Ma­gen Davids placed next to their names when­ever they post.

The site con­tains nu­mer­ous an­tisemitic post­ings, in­clud­ing one mem­ber “Bi­nesy,” who, re­fer­ring to the star next to hi s name, wrote: “I’m not a J e w. T hat i s a s deep a slur a s I c a n imag­ine. ...”

A n o t h e r fan posted: “ T h e J e ws a n d t h e i r ac­com­plices a r e drai ning the wealth and ex­pect­ing the poorer sec­tions of so­ci­ety to re­pay their thiev­ing.”

The site de­scribes it­self as the “premier al­ter­na­tive Arse­nal web­site.”

It boasts: “This site isn’t for the po­lit­i­cally cor­rect, it isn’t aimed at chil­dren and it cer­tainly isn’t aimed to­wards the new breed of sup­porter that seems to have been caught up among the Sky hys­te­ria that has made foot­ball fash­ion­able.

“We don’t want to ex­press our views on sani­tised sites that are ad­min­is­tered by those that don’t un­der­stand ter­race cul­ture.”

Danny Lynch, spokesman for the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion’s Kick Racism Out of Foot­ball said: ““Kick It Out is com­mit­ted to mak­ing foot­ball a dis­crim­i­na­tion-free zone, whether that be on the pitch, the stands or where it ex­ists on­line.

“An­ti­semitism and anti-Jewish abuse and in­tim­i­da­tion is an is­sue very much ‘front of mind’ and ap­pro­pri­ate steps will be taken in this in­stance.”

A CST spokesman said: “This kind of ca­sual and per­va­sive an­ti­semitism is quite dis­gust­ing. Arse­nal fans, both Jewish and non-Jewish, must in­ter­vene to stop this kind of non­sense.”

An Arse­nal spokesman said that al­though the club was un­will­ing to t ell fans w h i c h sites they s h o u l d a n d s h o u l d not visit, it would n o t e ndorse racist and a n t i s e - m i t i c c o m - m e n t s made by fans.

F o o t - ball fan Richard Sim­mons said he was “shocked” when he came across the site.

He said: “I know that this type of thing is out there, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t op­pose it. We have to take a strong stand against an­ti­semitism and also high­light it when­ever pos­si­ble.

“You could take the view that this is just stupid and not im­por­tant: but that is re­ally giv­ing a free pass to some­thing that ought to be con­demned by ev­ery­one.”

No-one from We Are The Herd was avail­able for com­ment.

PHOTO: AP

Last year’s Viva Palestina con­voy

One of the posts on the site; left, how one fan re­sponded to the do­na­tion re­quest

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