That very special brand of UK anti-Semitism
Welcome to Scotland where Celtic - one of the local soccer teams and NOT related to my beloved Boston Celtics - has just been fined by UEFA, the European soccer governing body for the eighth time in the last five seasons for their fans' insistence on showing their love for the 'Palestinians,' especially at games involving Israeli teams (this one was against HaPoel Beer Sheva). The fans' response has been to raise more than the amount of the fine (£136,000) through GoFundMe in just two days.
The fans waved more than a 100 Palestinian flags at the match last week in spite of prior warnings, breaching UEFA rules on political statements at matches.What do soccer fans (who from what I hear from friends in the UK often come to games drunk out of their minds) care about the 'Palestinians'? It's not about the 'Palestinians.' It's about hating the Jews.
The online 'gofundme' fundraising page was launched shortly after the charge from UEFA and shared via social media as #MatchTheFineForPalestine.
UEFA considers the Palestinian flag an "illicit banner" and according to the group's rules and regulations, bans all messages that are of a "political, ideological, religious, offensive or provocative nature."
According to the BBC, the club has been penalized at least eight times in the past five seasons for fan misconduct.
The Celtic group affiliates itself with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which it hails as “inspiring and unstoppable.”
According to the Facebook page which organized the protest, an Israeli soccer team should not be allowed to participate in the soccer competition “due to the system of apartheid laws and practices including religious- and ethnic-based colonization, military occupation and segregation of what remains of Palestinian land and over 90 laws which discriminate against indigenous Palestinians who make up 20 percent of the population of current-day Israel.”
The soccer club is due to present their case at a disciplinary hearing on the 22nd of September.