Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli-Yoel Edelstein reacted, Friday, to the pre-dawn fire at the office of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club by saying, "I wish to express disgust and anger at the burning of the offices of the Beitar Jerusalem Football Club overnight. As Minister in charge of the prevention of anti-Semitism I want to back up the Beitar management, the Attorney General and the police on their determination to eradicate this phenomenon."
The fire - believed to be arson - came hours after it was announced that the team would receive funds to fight racism in the wake of vocal opposition to the team's signing of Chechnyan Muslim players. Edelstein's reaction echoed that of Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, who told Kol Yisrael government radio, who said law enforcement agencies must "deliver a clear message that the playing field is not beyond the law." Livnat intends to attend Sunday night's home game against a team from the Lower Galilee Israeli Arab city of Sakhnin.