Not only did my beloved West Ham lose at arch rivals Spurs but some of the travelling West Ham supporters engaged in patently anti-Semitic abuse. I think you know my views on Spurs ( intense dislike) but also on anti Semitism ( rabid dislike). My mind is filled with various thoughts.
I know what will have been said or rather hissed. There is a hissing noise mean to be reminiscent of the gas chambers. Adolf Hitler is Coming for you – a variant of Tottenham Hotspur we’re coming for you, will have been chanted. I remember hearing “There’s only one Adolf Hitler” being chanted at a Spurs game a long time. I cringed with shame.
Football has made great play of stamping racism out of the game. West Ham were the first top flight side to field a black player and most of the current side are black. But we have racist supporters just as every club does. There is no point in pretending otherwise. I rather sense that the show trial of the loathsome John Terry for racism set the cause of stamping racism out of football back in that it was so obviously a show trial. But notwithstanding that football is heading the right way.
The problem is that racism and anti-Semitism are viewed quite differently in Britain 2012. That the Guardian can run cartoons which are take-offs of Julian Streicher’s best depicting Bibi Netenyahu controlling Western leaders as a puppet master is appalling. Any article on Israel is met with a barrage of criticism of “the Jews” from folks who would never make a derogatory comment about a blacks or Asians. Stars of David are burned in demonstrations on our streets by those who would create hell fire if a Koran was burned but nothing is done about it. Anti-Semitism is a vile form of racism but such is the hatred of the Western liberal media and political elites of the State of Israel that it has almost become downgraded and acceptable.
I hope that those who offended yesterday are caught shamed and get life bans from football. But I suggest that the liberal elites need to think long and hard about some of the language and imagery they have used in recent years (and certainly in recent weeks) too. And about the indifference they have shown to some of those who have engaged in quite vile Jew bating. They have created a zeitgeist which treats ant-Semitism as a second class form of racism. They too have questions to answer.