Teddy stadium
Teddy stadiumIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Police moved swiftly Monday to indict two Jerusalem residents on charges of racism over catcalls they made Sunday night at a soccer game Sunday night between Beitar Jerusalem and the Bnei Sakhnin team. Hundreds of police were present at the game in order to prevent racial tension, with fans of Beitar and visiting Arab teams often facing off with each other over insults and threats mounted by each side against the other.

Beitar fans have complained numerous times that Arab fans visiting the stadium incite to racism and hatred against Jews, calling for “death to Israel” and “death to the Jews,” and even waving PLO flags. The media has ignored those complaints, instead focusing on Arab complaints that Jewish fans call them names or make them feel unwelcome.

The two fans, 27 and 18 years of age, are accused of getting up and shouting that they “hate Arabs,” and that “Muhammad was no prophet, just another Arab.” Police arrested the two, and filed charges against them of making use of racist speech. A Jerusalem court released them until trial, but they were instructed to remain far away from Teddy Stadium, where Beitar plays its games.

In order to ensure that they follow the rules, the two have been instructed to report to their police stations during each half of a game played by Beitar Jerusalem at the stadium.