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‘Friendly Soccer Game’ Becomes Anti-Semitic Fest

A “friendly” World Cup warm-up soccer game between Hungary and Israel turned into a hate-fest of anti-Semitic slogans and slurs on Israel.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 8/22/2012, 8:17 AM

 Hungary's Krisztian Nemet (front) fights for the ball with Israel's goalkeeper Dudu Aouate
Hungary's Krisztian Nemet (front) fights for the ball with Israel's goalkeeper Dudu Aouate
Reuters

A “friendly” World Cup warm-up soccer game between Hungary and Israel turned into a hate-fest of anti-Semitic slogans and slurs on Israel.

The Hungarian government’s failure to react to the Jew-hatred reflects sinking relations between the two countries. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Hungarian President Janos Aler last month in Jerusalem that he was concerned about the “dangerous phenomenon” of rising anti-Semitism in the country.

Hungarian fans at the soccer game on Tuesday, which ended in a 1-1 tie, turned their backs on the field during the playing of Hatikvah and chanted slurs such as “stinking Jews,” the European Jewish Press (EJP) reported.

They also shouted pro-Nazi and pro-fascist slogans, shouted, “Palestine, Palestine” and waved Iranian flags.

The Israeli team reportedly was escorted after the game by a motorcade of police, EJP added. Israeli soccer team coach Eli Guttman said there had been advance warnings of possible terrorist attacks following last month’s attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

Earlier this month, Hungarian prosecutors rejected “groundless” claims that 97-year-old Nazi suspect Laszio Csatary was guilty of deporting 300 Jews in Ukraine. However, they still are investigating allegations that Csatary was involved in the deportation of more than 15,000 Jews to a Nazi death camp one year before the end of World War II.

Nazism has been on the rise in Hungary, where parks and statues have been names in honor of an Hungarian leader who was an ally of Hitler in the war.

The Nazi regime murdered approximately 550,000 Jews during the Holocaust, and about 100,000 are living in Hungary today.