Sunday, May 18, 2008
Chelsea Manager Avram Grant, Player Tal Ben Haim Targets of anti-Semitic Abuse
London is becoming the new home of anti-Semitic attacks. Attacks, graffiti, and now these e-mails.
Of course, London is also the center of a huge number of radical Moslem groups.
Email accuses Grant of 'having Arab blood on his hands'
Jewish Chronicle reveals Chelsea's Israeli manager has been target of vile anti-Semitic abuse. One email sent to him brands Israeli player Tal Ben Haim 'a Jewish terrorist'
Published: 05.17.08, 10:20 / Israel Culture
Chelsea manager Avram Grant has been the target of vile anti-Semitic abuse, the Jewish Chronicle has revealed after obtaining copies of emails sent to the Israeli.
One, full of misspellings, accused Grant of “having Palestinian and Arab blood on his hands”. Another branded his Israeli player Tal Ben Haim “a Jewish terrorist”.
Chairman Bruce Buck responds to anti-Semitic comments made by some fans following Israeli Avram Grant's appointment as team's new coach. 'This is one thing we will not tolerate,' he states
According to the London-based Jewish newspaper, Grant was not the only recipient of such emails. Others have been sent to Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron, George Galloway and the JC.
Before the match against Manchester United, one invited Chelsea fans to “sieg heil the afternoon singing the usual Chelsea anti-Jewish song, and waving the Palestinian Hamas flag”.
According to the JC, months after Grant’s appointment, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck spoke of a “totally unacceptable” increase in anti-Semitism. In February, a white powder was sent to Grant along with a death threat but the substance was found to be harmless. He has also been verbally abused by Chelsea fans during matches at Stamford Bridge.
Grant has refused to be questioned on the subject. His spokesman told the JC, “He doesn’t want to become a political or social commentary figure. He just wants to be known as a football manager.”
He said he was aware of the emails and the club is “proactive” in co-operating with police by gathering evidence for a prosecution. “When that happens we will be very high profile,” he said.
Grant’s sister, Ruth Grant Porat, told the JC she believes the coverage of him has been disrespectful but not anti-Semitic.
“Anti-Semitism is a heavy word to use and a major charge to make,” she said. “I’m scared to use a word like that lightly after what my father went through in the Holocaust.
“I’ve been following the British media very closely on the internet and I haven’t seen any, except some occasional comments in the talkbacks. We went to the Carling Cup final and didn’t hear any anti-Semitism. The media did not show respect for Avram because he came from a country with no major football culture but I have seen a clear change in the tone of the press in the past few weeks with much more respect for Avram and appreciation of him.”