Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat spoke Sunday about the decision to add two Muslim players to the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team. “The Jewish faith requires equal and fair treatment for minorities living among us,” he said. “Just as we do not want Jews across the world to face discrimination for being Jews, we cannot morally or ethically discriminate against Muslim or Christian players… It’s not just a matter of soccer.”
He condemned anti-Muslim sentiment among fans. “The eyes of the world are on the Jewish nation’s behavior in Jerusalem, particularly today on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the day the world rejects the hatred of Jews that led to the Holocaust… We will continue to fight racism and violence in all its forms and to work for coexistence, equality and fairness among all residents of the city,” Barkat declared.
Some fans of the Beitar Jerusalem team chanted Saturday night against the plans to recruit two Russian Muslims to the team.