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F’in Feyenoord Fans

Maariv reports on the alarming anti-Semitism displayed by some Dutch soccer fans.

As Dutch soccer teams begin preparing for the upcoming season, the heated battle between the top two teams in the country has escalated into the publishing of anti-Semitic threats. Fans of the Feyenoord Rotterdam club have published anti-Semitic slurs against Ajax Amsterdam’s Jewish player Rafael Van-Der Vaart on Feyenoord’s website. The slurs were also directed at Amsterdam’s Jewish community, which is known as a staunch supporter of the team, known as the ‘Jewish team’. The Feyenoord fans called on its supporters to come to the next game with Ajax equipped with a bomb in order to kill all Jews in the stadium. Feyenoord fans have been no strangers to anti-Semitism as far back as the 1970s. Numerous extremist incidents were recorded at the time the brothers Ronald and Frank de Boer played for Ajax, with “gas, gas, gas” calls directed at Ronald’s Jewish wife. Several years ago, Feyenoord fans appeared on Dutch television as they were rioting and singing “Hamas, Hamas, all Jews to the gas chambers”. Their behavior sank to such lows that the Dutch parliament asked that the team be punished by playing games without any fans in the stands. Two years ago, when their team played against the Turkish Fenerbahce, the fans composed new hate-songs dedicated to Israeli soccer star Haim Revivo, who played for the Turkish team. Ronny Naftaniel, Director of the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, read about the disturbing reports on Feyenoord’s web site this week and was quick to file a complaint with the Dutch police. “I didn’t hesitate for a moment”, said Naftaniel, “I promptly filed a complaint and hope that the matter be addressed soon”. Ironically, Feyenoord’s fanatical fans were so quick to insult Van der Vaart they failed to realize his mother is not Jewish, but in fact Spanish.

You can find more on Feyenoord’s history of anti-Semitism here.

In case you are wondering how Ajax is connected to Jews and Israel:

“Ajax, the Dutch, the War” (2003), by South-African born writer Simon Kuper, who grew up near The Hague, examines some of these wounds of war as expressed through football (as it must be called from here on). The book assumes, rather oddly, that during the war “football was a place where the Holocaust met daily life,” and that by studying the situation in Holland, where a city once filled with Jews (Amsterdam), and one dominant football club (Ajax), made for a unique tension that “might even produce wider truths about the war in the rest of occupied western Europe.”

In the prewar years, Ajax and Jews were well and prosperously intertwined; the club, whose grounds were located near the Jewish quarter, had many Jewish fans and players. But once the occupation began, the club’s record — like the country’s (contrary to popular myth) — becomes more clouded, with a number of Jewish players, for example, being forced to leave the team. Kuper implies the Dutch have felt guilty about it ever since.

In the `60s, Jews, and the Jewish past, became cool in the cosmopolitan city — the club’s Jewish masseur, Salo Muller, taught Yiddish slang and Jewish jokes in the locker room; and Jewish money (along with that of Nazi collaborators) helped rebuild the club. Nowadays — baffling to outsiders seeing it for the first time — the hard-core Ajax fans, virtually all Gentile, daub themselves with the star of David and proudly call themselves Jews, leading to the most vicious of taunts (“Ajax to Auschwitz”) from opposing (but also Dutch) supporters.

And here is a Guardian take on Ajax, which is, unsurprisingly, condemnatory of Ajax’s Israeli flag-touting supporters and almost dismissive of their opponent’s anti-Semitic rants.

Nowadays its more violent supporters wave the Israeli flag and call themselves Jews. Needless to say, they are no more Jewish than their role models, the Tottenham Yids. Their opponents, displaying an admirable knowledge of history, hiss like escaping gas (at least they are not Holocaust-deniers).

I wonder if the “escaping gas” comment is the author’s idea of being funny.


Maariv reports on the alarming anti-Semitism displayed by some Dutch soccer fans.

As Dutch soccer teams begin preparing for the upcoming season, the heated battle between the top two teams in the country has escalated into the publishing of anti-Semitic threats.

Fans of the Feyenoord Rotterdam club have published anti-Semitic slurs against Ajax Amsterdamís Jewish player Rafael Van-Der Vaart on Feyenoordís website. The slurs were also directed at Amsterdamís Jewish community, which is known as a staunch supporter of the team, known as the ëJewish teamí.

The Feyenoord fans called on its supporters to come to the next game with Ajax equipped with a bomb in order to kill all Jews in the stadium.

Feyenoord fans have been no strangers to anti-Semitism as far back as the 1970s. Numerous extremist incidents were recorded at the time the brothers Ronald and Frank de Boer played for Ajax, with “gas, gas, gas” calls directed at Ronald’s Jewish wife.

Several years ago, Feyenoord fans appeared on Dutch television as they were rioting and singing “Hamas, Hamas, all Jews to the gas chambers”. Their behavior sank to such lows that the Dutch parliament asked that the team be punished by playing games without any fans in the stands. Two years ago, when their team played against the Turkish Fenerbahce, the fans composed new hate-songs dedicated to Israeli soccer star Haim Revivo, who played for the Turkish team.

Ronny Naftaniel, Director of the Center for Information and Documentation

on Israel, read about the disturbing reports on Feyenoord’s web site this week and was quick to file a complaint with the Dutch police. “I didnít hesitate for a moment”, said Naftaniel, “I promptly filed a complaint and hope that the matter be addressed soon”.

Ironically, Feyenoord’s fanatical fans were so quick to insult Van der Vaart they failed to realize his mother is not Jewish, but in fact Spanish.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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