Liverpool FC ejected an Israeli fan who held up a banner of his friend who was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists, the JC can reveal.
Elad Poterman brought the banner calling for the release of his friend Omri Miran to a Europa Champions League game against LASK on Thursday 30 November.
Miran, 46, was taken captive on October 7 by terrorists from Kibbutz Nahal Oz on October 7 leaving his wife, Lishay, 38, and their two small daughters.
Video footage seen by the JC shows stewards at Anfield in Liverpool telling the 40-year-old to leave the match as he unravelled the banner.
The moment Elad Poterman is confronted by a steward at Anfield last week after revealing his banner for Omri Miran pic.twitter.com/FQdSORHaya— The Jewish Chronicle (@JewishChron) December 7, 2023
Recalling his experience at the game, Poterman who is a Liverpool fan along with Miran, told the JC: “I was told by the stewards that I couldn’t raise the banner because it was a ‘political issue’.
“So I had the option of giving them the banner and staying in the stadium or taking the banner and leave the stadium.
“I asked them: ‘What’s political about it? It is just a humanitarian matter’. But they didn’t want to get into a debate about it so I just left. It seemed ridiculous.”
Poterman, from Kibbutz Nahal Oz, added: “The case here was simply a case of a Liverpool supporter needing support from fans and the club. Saying that Omri needs to come back to his family is not taking a political stance, it’s just humanity you know.
“The response from the club has been disappointing, they can actually help here I think.
“A statement from the club saying ‘Omri is one of our own, we want him back’ would go a long way or for the banner to be hung from Anfield until he comes back.”
Poterman along with his family survived the 7th October massacre. He was trapped in a safe room for 17 hours with his wife Maria and eight-month old baby while terrorists were inside his house, trying to break in.
The family were miraculously saved by a rare metal latch inside the safe room, preventing terrorists from getting in. IDF soldiers found the family later that evening and were evacuated.
Poterman said: “It was a terrible experience. We were very quiet for hours. My wife was in one hand holding my baby girl and the other a knife. I was holding an axe as well just in case they broke in.”
Meanwhile, his cousin Miran and his family were woken by the sounds of sirens going off across the Kibbutz in the early hours of October 7. Omri and Lishay put their girls Roni, two, and Alma, six months old, into their safe room.
At 10:30am, the window in the family bathroom was kicked in and Hamas terrorists entered their house.
The terrorists then decided to take the Mirans to their neighbour’s house, where they were held at gunpoint.
Terrifying footage released by Hamas shows Lavi holding Alma in the kitchen of her neighbours' home.
In the clip, Lavi flinches while holding her daughter as a gunshot is heard in the background. The shadows of Hamas gunmen can be seen walking around the family.
Omri is then taken away to his car and driven away to Gaza by the group.
Poterman, who has been friends with Miran for nine years, said: “He’s a great guy, one who you want to have a beer with.”
Asked about his thoughts about the kidnapping, he said: “It’s a complex question because Omri’s kidnapping was one bit of news that I received then.
“When I was evacuated and started receiving news - it was like this family was slaughtered and this guy was missing.
“From that point on, I received information about somebody who was murdered or killed every two hours and that went on for 12 days.
“As far as things go, it’s too much. It’s overwhelming to the point where you can’t keep it in your head so it’s more and more terrible.”
Asked about whether he will continue to be a Liverpool fan after his treatment by the club, he said: “If you asked me before the 6th October, I would have said yes but now I don’t know what I am.
“The entire ethos of the club is ‘You'll Never Walk Alone’, but this certainly doesn’t seem to be the case here. They need to remember their own identity. I felt pain and disappointment.”
Liverpool FC declined to comment.