April 08, 2005

Little Green Futbol: Just about every soccer league in Europe has at least one team whose fans are more interested in yelling racist chants at their team's opponents than watching a game. This unfortunate trend has caught on in Israel, where the followers of Beitar Jerusalem have become notorious for their anti-Arab chants, including one celebrating the slaughter of twenty-nine people at a mosque in 1994. Such conduct became less defensible even to some of the more extreme elements in Israeli society, however, when they targeted a national sports hero, Abbas Suwan, an Israeli Arab who scored a last-second goal two weeks ago to tie Ireland in World Cup qualifying (Israel currently leads its group, which also includes France, in a quest to play in its first World Cup since 1970).

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