Saturday, 24 Feb 2018 - 9 of Adar, 5778

Simon Wiesenthal Center denounces ‘anti-Semitic’ attack of Israeli football club staff members by skinheads in Poland

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PARIS/WARSAW (EJP)—The Simon Wisenthal Center denounced the violent attack of Hapoel Petah Tikva staff members by masked skinheads after a football game against a local Polish club in Sochocin, some 70 kilometers from Warsaw.

Two staff members of the Israeli club were slightly injured in the attack in what the Israeli Embassy said was an “anti-Semitic incident.” “The Israeli embassy in Warsaw has been shocked and saddened by the news of another anti-Semitic incident,” said Michal Sobelman, the embassy spokesperson. “These ‘pseudo-fans’ not only harm good Polish-Israeli relations, but first of all they are damaging to Poland’s image abroad.”

 Shimon Samuels, the SWC Director for International Relations, wrote a letter to UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) President, Aleksander Ceferin, urging him “to take this matter to the UEFA Disciplinary Committee for appropriate measures against Legia Warsaw, including its suspension, as also for the arrest and prosecution by the Polish authorities of the perpetrators.”

 The letter pointed out that, “reportedly, most of the team had left the field for their hotel, when POLISH Fans invaded the pitch to beat up the few members left behind”… “Despite a police presence, two of the Israelis were injured.”

Samuels argued that, “Anti-Semitism is hardly new in Poland, but this brutal attack must have consequences.”

“A red card must be flagged to all such manifestations of hatred and violence that abuse the beautiful game,” he said.

The Polish government condemned the attack with its spokesman Rafal Bochenek saying that police were investigating the incident and would detain those responsible.

“We strongly condemn aggression and violence against any person,” he said.

 

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