February 13, 2013, - 3:24 pm
For over a month, the mainstream media has been publishing–and readers have been sending me–stories about Beitar Jerusalem Football Club, the Israeli pro soccer team that recently added its first Muslim soccer player. I wonder why this is news when 1) every single other Israeli pro soccer team has Arab and/or Muslim players, and 2) I have yet to read a single mainstream media news story about the lack of Jewish and/or Israeli players on any of the Gaza or Palestinian Authority soccer teams or any soccer teams anywhere in dozens of Arab and Muslim countries around the world. Or the fact that Israeli Jews can’t even enter most of these countries, period. Why isn’t that news?
Heck, Lebanese boys who were born and raised in Lebanon cannot even play on Lebanese soccer teams because they are of Palestinian descent, but the only place I read about that was in one story on an Arab media website. You’ll never see it in the New York Times or the self-hating Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), both of which drooled over reporting on Beitar Jerusalem and the unhappiness of only a few Beitar Jewish fans over hiring a man from an openly anti-Semitic religion to their team.
And, then, there is Dubai and its treatment of an Israeli Jewish soccer player, which gets no mention in either the New York Times or the JTA or any of the thousands of mainstream media news outlets that covered the story on Beitar Jerusalem. I could find only three news outlets, two of them Jewish publications, that mention the plight of Itay Shechter (also spelled, Schechter). Ironically, the third (and the original news source of the story), The National–an Abu Dhabi/United Arab Emirates news outlet–publishes this story that the New York Times and the JTA will not:
The English Premier League football team Swansea City considered cancelling their mid-season training camp in Dubai because their Israeli player would have been refused entry on grounds of his nationality, said Michael Laudrup, the club’s manager.
Instead of travelling to the UAE with the team on Monday, Itay Shechter was granted permission to train in Israel with Hapoel Tel Aviv, his former club.
Yay, separate but equal for the Jewish guy. And they dare call Israel the “apartheid” state when the real apartheid is alive and well in 22 Arab countries around the world.
He will rejoin his Swansea teammates ahead of their league match with Liverpool on Sunday.
Cancelling the trip “was a possibility, but I thought we’d just made the arrangements and then would have to change”, Laudrup said today at Dubai Sports City where his team were training.
Yup, let’s hear it for British bravery in the face of anti-Semitism. They capitulated faster than French surrender monkeys.
Swansea reportedly discovered at the end of last week that Shechter would be denied access to the UAE. Laudrup said that should a similar situation arise, Swansea would consider an alternative option to the Emirates.
“When we have to plan it then we will look into if all our players can come,” he said. “But it depends if we’re going for three days or for 10 days. Pre-season would be completely different; I would never do anything like that.”
It is not the first time an Israeli footballer has encountered problems entering Dubai. In 2009, Tamir Cohen, then of Bolton Wanderers, said he would not have travelled to the emirate for his club’s training camp, even if he had not been injured.
A guy with principle.
In 2007, Tal Ben Haim, then also a Bolton player, reportedly remained in England because of visa issues. However, Ben Haim now holds a British passport and is currently training in Dubai with his new club Queens Park Rangers.
It should also be noted that, last year, when Shechter played against a German team, German fans gave Itay Shechter a Nazi salute during a team practice. You just can’t win if you’re a Jew in the soccer world, apparently.
But, again, you don’t hear about this stuff in the mainstream media or even the mainstream self-hating Jewish media because they are too busy whining about a few fans’ reaction to Beitar Jerusalem’s new Muslim player.
Not that this double standard is new. It’s just ever-present and an evergreen story, sadly.
Tags: apartheid, Beitar, Beitar Jerusalem, Beitar Jerusalem FC, Beitar Jerusalem Football Club, Dubai, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Ltd ., English Premier League, HaPoel Tel Aviv, Islam, Islamic apartheid, Israel, Itay Menachem Shechter, Itay Schechter, Itay Shechter, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Jews, Jihad, JTA, Michael Laudrup, Swansea City