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The Jews who give a green light to antisemitism in football

On Friday evening on a packed Jubilee Line tube between Stratford and West Ham I was subjected to sustained and vile antisemitic abuse.

    The context was a journey home after watching Spurs at West Ham. West Ham had won 1-0 and deserved their win. Their fans, of course, had the right to engage in victor's banter - regardless of the fact that the defeat will in the final reckoning mean not a stitch in the great scheme of things. 

    What happened on that tube was not football banter - it was naked, vile antisemitism. The full remit of antisemitic songs, the 'fuck off Jew boy' and topped off with hissing. 

    I was not wearing colours having come from work - perhaps I was given away by not having my knuckles dragging on the foot - either way I was singled out by two men in their early 20's whose tirade lasted most of the minutes between leaving Stratford and then alighting at West Ham station.

    As if the abuse were not bad enough, the remainder of the carriage remained silent, save for a number of cowards who sniggered and chuckled. 

    I was traveling with a young female friend (not Jewish) who was visibly shaken and upset. Lips firmly bitten, we didn't rise to the bait but I can't explain how it felt to have to say silent in those circumstances. I've never been someone who reverts to violence to fight my corner, I prefer words - neither were an option in those circumstances, the latter would no doubt have precipitated the former. Silence was the only option however galling.

    Sadly, the morning after the abusive evening before, I have experienced the bone-headed mentality of a fringe of Jewish football fans that almost green lights this abuse. I cling to the hope that it is really a minority but I despair when I have to read a fellow Maccabi League manager conflate football banter with antisemitic abuse in an attempt to explain away the latter. We've seen this before of course, from the self-publicist David Baddiel whose own contorted take on this was to blame the victims of the abuse. 

    Until all in the community are prepared to stand up to antisemitism what hope do we have of getting the football and police authorities to take the issue seriously?

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