14 October 2015
Israel’s most notorious football fan group, La Familia, known for its militant racism against Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, has put itself in the firing line as Israeli-Palestinian confrontations threaten to spark a third Intifada or popular Palestinian uprising on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.
Members of La Familia, supporters of storied right-wing premier league club Beitar Jerusalem, the only top flight Israeli team that refuses to hire Palestinians, have been involved in recent attacks on Palestinians, despite the fact that the government appeared to be cracking down on them in recent months.
Doubts about the sincerity of the Israeli government crackdown have been fuelled by what some perceive to be a double standard in the response of the police and the military to Israeli Jewish and Palestinian perpetrators of violence. Law enforcement and the military appear to be more cautious in preserving life when confronting right-wing and ultra-nationalist Jews than when challenging Palestinians. At least 25 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the last two weeks.
… James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccerblog and a forthcoming book with the same title.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 14/10/2015