'Enlightened' Europeans chant 'Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas' at soccer match

I don't know about you, but I'm glad President Obama and the Democrats want to turn is into one of those European-style "social democracires."  After all, Europeans are so cultured and tolerant...right?

Right?

It was a beautiful day for soccer in the Dutch town of Utrecht. Spring sunshine filled the stadium as the local team, FC Utrecht, kicked off against perennial powerhouse Ajax Amsterdam.

As the beautiful game slowly played out on the field, however, things in the stands quickly got ugly.

“Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas,” sang a section of the home supporters towards the fans visiting from Amsterdam, a city historic in part for its Jewish community. “My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews, because Jews burn the best!”

The anti-Semitism was caught on video and quickly circulated among Dutch media. FC Utrecht issued an apology as Jewish organizations demanded action by soccer authorities.

The shocking chants weren’t an isolated incident, however. Instead, they were the latest in a string of anti-Semitic episodes that threaten to mar European soccer.

Discrimination isn’t new to European football, or soccer. The sport has long struggled with racism, a problem which resurfaced recently when Chelsea fans pushed a black man off the Paris metro, chanting: “We’re racist, we’re racist, and that’s the way we like it.”

“We’ve had issues like this since the 80s,” said Shimon Samuels, director for international relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a human rights organization.

But anti-Semitism in European soccer appears to be getting worse.According to Kick It Out, a British organization originally devoted to combating racism, anti-Semitic incidents are up in the English Premier League. A Kick It Out study released last month revealed that there were 59 reported instances of anti-Semitism during the first half of this season. That was more than during the entire previous season. Anti-Semitism made up a third of the total instances of abuse, and was second in frequency only to racism.

One of this season’s worst episodes came when fans of the London club West Ham were caught on camera chanting “I’ve got a foreskin, how about you? F—ing Jew” on their way to play Tottenham Hotspur, a team with a historically strong Jewish following. (Last year, several Tottenham supporters were arrested for chants referring to themselves as “Yids,” a derogatory name that some Hotspur fans have reclaimed.)

Other recent incidents have included fans — and in several instancesplayers — making Nazi-like salutes.

This goes beyond the kind of "hooliganism" that we've seen from British soccer fans for decades.  The ruffians who revel in the name "hooligans" are mostly drunk, lower-middle-class Brits who are equal-opportunity thugs; they'll beat up anyone, of any race, at any time.

But this is different, and it's happening not just in Holland.  All across "tolerant Europe" – who lectured the U.S. incessantly during the Ferguson riots – there have been overt, nauseating examples of racism and anti-Semitism at public gatherings of any kind.  Soccer matches appear to give the bigots the best opportunity to show how ignorant they are.

Arresting and punishing people won't solve the problem.  When the governments of many of these enlightened Euro-democracies use rhetoric poisonous to Israel, this kind of result is to be expected.

I don't know about you, but I'm glad President Obama and the Democrats want to turn is into one of those European-style "social democracires."  After all, Europeans are so cultured and tolerant...right?

Right?

It was a beautiful day for soccer in the Dutch town of Utrecht. Spring sunshine filled the stadium as the local team, FC Utrecht, kicked off against perennial powerhouse Ajax Amsterdam.

As the beautiful game slowly played out on the field, however, things in the stands quickly got ugly.

“Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas,” sang a section of the home supporters towards the fans visiting from Amsterdam, a city historic in part for its Jewish community. “My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews, because Jews burn the best!”

The anti-Semitism was caught on video and quickly circulated among Dutch media. FC Utrecht issued an apology as Jewish organizations demanded action by soccer authorities.

The shocking chants weren’t an isolated incident, however. Instead, they were the latest in a string of anti-Semitic episodes that threaten to mar European soccer.

Discrimination isn’t new to European football, or soccer. The sport has long struggled with racism, a problem which resurfaced recently when Chelsea fans pushed a black man off the Paris metro, chanting: “We’re racist, we’re racist, and that’s the way we like it.”

“We’ve had issues like this since the 80s,” said Shimon Samuels, director for international relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a human rights organization.

But anti-Semitism in European soccer appears to be getting worse.According to Kick It Out, a British organization originally devoted to combating racism, anti-Semitic incidents are up in the English Premier League. A Kick It Out study released last month revealed that there were 59 reported instances of anti-Semitism during the first half of this season. That was more than during the entire previous season. Anti-Semitism made up a third of the total instances of abuse, and was second in frequency only to racism.

One of this season’s worst episodes came when fans of the London club West Ham were caught on camera chanting “I’ve got a foreskin, how about you? F—ing Jew” on their way to play Tottenham Hotspur, a team with a historically strong Jewish following. (Last year, several Tottenham supporters were arrested for chants referring to themselves as “Yids,” a derogatory name that some Hotspur fans have reclaimed.)

Other recent incidents have included fans — and in several instancesplayers — making Nazi-like salutes.

This goes beyond the kind of "hooliganism" that we've seen from British soccer fans for decades.  The ruffians who revel in the name "hooligans" are mostly drunk, lower-middle-class Brits who are equal-opportunity thugs; they'll beat up anyone, of any race, at any time.

But this is different, and it's happening not just in Holland.  All across "tolerant Europe" – who lectured the U.S. incessantly during the Ferguson riots – there have been overt, nauseating examples of racism and anti-Semitism at public gatherings of any kind.  Soccer matches appear to give the bigots the best opportunity to show how ignorant they are.

Arresting and punishing people won't solve the problem.  When the governments of many of these enlightened Euro-democracies use rhetoric poisonous to Israel, this kind of result is to be expected.