Tag Archives: anti-Semitism

Omar Barghouti: The non-Israel-boycotting Israel boycotter.

A foul stench of hypocrisy hung in the air last night as Omar Barghouti spoke about his new book BDS: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions. The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights at the London Review Bookshop.

Barghouti unashamedly studies in Tel Aviv. He consumes Israeli goods en masse and says he would take Israeli live-saving medicine should he ever require it.

“I have no choice. I don’t know what you think about Arabs but we are not suicidal,” was his answer to my question on that last point. He was being slightly disingenuous as my question was not about Arabs, but him specifically.

That said, there are more than just a few Arabs who are suicidal and who think nothing of taking the lives of the innocent with them in the act, but when have you heard any condemnation of this from the so-called protectors of human rights within the BDS movement?

I couldn’t understand why, out of choice, Barghouti studies in a country that he so despises. He also studied in America, the one country he blames for its rock solid support of Israel. But he argued that he has the right to be in Israel because he is a refugee and has the right to return there. He was born in Qatar and spent his first eleven years in Egypt.

On the question of consuming Israeli goods, once again, he argued he has no choice as he lives in Israel.

He claimed that he couldn’t find anyone to debate him about the ethics of a boycott “so we are debating with ourselves”. But, he said, he had set out all the questions and answers about boycotting Israel in his book.

But it was only recently that Prof. Daniel Hochhauser destroyed Dr. John Chalcraft’s arguments on this exact same topic at the London (or is that Libyan?) School of Economics.

There are many more people who can also demolish Barghouti’s arguments and show up the BDS movement for the purely anti-Semitic movement that it is.

There I go playing the anti-Semitism card, which is exactly what Barghouti told the audience that Israel’s supporters do, but he implored them to be brave and to continue making the case for boycotts despite such allegations.

But if a movement does not propose a boycott of America, Britain, China, Russia and Turkey etc. for the occupations that they are all embroiled in then I really don’t know how a movement can consider itself to be anything other than anti-Semitic. Perhaps Barghouti addresses this point in his book.

So Barghouti consumes Israeli products but travels the world encouraging audiences to boycott those same products, and more, until the BDS movement achieves its three main objectives:

1. Ending the occupation and dismantling the wall.
2. Giving the Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel complete equality.
3. Respecting the rights of the Palestinians to return under UN Res. 194.

Like Chalcraft he claimed that the boycott only targets institutions, not individuals although, as Hochhauser, pointed out individuals belong to institutions and so people are, in effect, being targeted individually.

He described settlement products as “contraband”, which should be seized on entry to the UK, and claimed that the BDS movement had achieved “success beyond our dreams”.

The call, he said, was issued in July 2005 but the movement has so far achieved more than the anti-apartheid movement did in 20 years and now included a boycott by the Trades Union Congress that covers some seven million workers and a cultural boycott by the likes of Meg Ryan, Roger Waters and The Pixies etc.

Even if his claims were true, surely the boycott movement would be even more successful if he was also boycotting Israel.

Barghouti would, no doubt, argue that he is effecting change from within Israel. He is part of “Boycott From Within”, but claimed repression is on the rise against Israeli citizens who support BDS, although, apparently, the Foreign Ministry recognises that Israel “will lose its last veneer of democracy in the West” should this continues.

He cited Ilan Baruch who resigned from foreign service claiming that Israel needs to study “the South African experience”. Baruch had, however, recently been turned down for the post of ambassador to Egypt.

Barghouti claimed that mainstream Israeli officials, and even Mossad, now think Israel is “a pariah”.

The main problem for BDS is that, as Barghouti stated, Israel’s economy is “triple A rated” and so the movement must go for strategic victories like those against Veolia, which is responsible for building transport links in Israel. He claimed Veolia had been trying to sell its share in the Jerusalem light railway project, but that there were no buyers.

But he did reveal doubts over the so-called Palestinian right of return. He questioned “whether it is feasible or not”, despite this being one of the three main objectives of the BDS movement!

In summary, Barghouti is taking the very best that Israel has to offer and is allowed to publicly air his criticisms while, hypocritically, denouncing Israel as being undemocratic and an apartheid state.

Israel feeds him, educates him, houses him, clothes him and looks after him medically, all while he attempts to destroy it from within.

(I wasn’t allowed to take photos, although other audience members were, but here’s the audio: Omar Barghouti talk and Q&A (Chaired by Victoria Brittain).)

For some great “Israel Apartheid Week” posters see elderofziyon

“Please Allah, kill all the Jews.”

It is amazing what you hear at some universities these days.

Last night the SOAS Palestine Society showed a new film called, bemusingly, To Shoot an Elephant, which is an almost two hour documentary about activists helping Palestinian paramedics in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

The title seemed apt in that it was like watching tourists on safari trying to film a kill, except in the film’s case the kill were to be only young Palestinian children.

There was lots of tragic footage of dead Palestinian children moments after they had passed away in hospital. The footage was heartbreaking but inexplicable in its lack of respect for the privacy of the dead and injured.

We were also shown dead children in the hospital morgue.

Tragic scenes of dead and mutilated Israeli children used to occur regularly in Israeli hospitals until Israel built that so-called evil “apartheid wall”.

Israel also builds shelters to protect its children. Hamas doesn’t. That was very apparent from the film.

Although the lack of protective shelters was obviously not mentioned in the film as one of the main causes of civilian casualties it is so obvious that a biased audience is bound to miss it.

Before the film started we were warned that we will hear the term “Al Yahud” quite a few times, but although it means “Jews” in Arabic we should understand that in the Palestinian context it means Israelis.

This is because, apparently, when the Palestinians see a Star of David on an Israeli soldier’s uniform they see him as Jewish eventhough he is Israeli.

I tried to be open minded.

I accepted that explanation even after seeing one Palestinian, who had had his fruit stall damaged, refer to Jews as “dogs”.

However, then we came to a funeral where an Imam was saying prayers not for the souls of the dead children but for the murder of every Jew.

When, at the end, I objected to this scene I was merely accused of playing “the anti-Semitism card” or taking the words out of context.

Judging by the flags in the background the funeral seems to have been arranged by Hamas and, possibly, Hezbollah. Here are the words of the Imam and the clip:

Allah is the greatest.
He who thanks Allah will be rewarded.
Oh Allah, loosen your power and strength on the Jews. (Amen.)
Please Allah, kill them all…
And don’t leave any of them alive. (Amen.)
Oh Allah, with your great power. Allah!
We are asking you with your infinite power, dear Allah. Allah!
Please dear Allah, take revenge for our martyrs’ blood. Allah!
Please Allah, get rid of the Jews.
Bring them down.
They are not as powerful as you.
Please Allah, make the earth shake and destroy the pillars of their civilisation.
Please Allah, cast fear and terror into their hearts.
Oh Allah disperse them so they become lost once again.
Oh Allah, show us a sign.
Oh Allah, surprise them in a way they don’t expect.
Oh Allah, cast fear and terror into their hearts.

To Shoot an Elephant is coming to a university near you soon.

Remember, when you see the above scene that, despite what he is saying, the Imam only wants all Israelis dead, not all Jews.

And whatever you do don’t play “the anti-Semitism card”.

You have been told.

Doughnuts, candles and anti-Semitism

seven Chanukah candles outside the Polish centre last night

seven Chanukah candles outside the Polish centre last night

Last night the Palestine Solidarity Campaign held its Winter Concert at The Polish Centre in Hammersmith, London.

The concert consisted of classical piano compositions, Palestinian music and a couple of short plays, one called Love Amidst the War and Isiah and the other called Seven Jewish Children.

Complaints had been made to the Polish Centre about the latter play on the basis that it is anti-Semitic, which it is.

And for a Polish community centre to show an anti-Semitic play when three million Jews were murdered by the Nazis in Poland made the event doubly insulting.

In fairness the centre probably didn’t know the nature of the booking and once booked it was too late. Last night it issued a statement distancing itself from the event and racism in general.

In 10 short minutes the play portrays Jews as being transformed from being murdered into being child killers themselves.

This is the old anti-Semitic myth updated for modern day audiences and the play is performed many times throughout the year for free.

With this in mind about 15 hardy activists journeyed to west London in freezing conditions to stand outside the Polish centre.

They lit seven Chanukah candles, ate doughnuts and handed leaflets out to passers-by.

Lots of people stopped to ask what was going on and were given a full explanation of the nature of the play that was being staged by the PSC inside the centre.

The irony was that many of those who had paid the £15 to go in and watch Seven Jewish Children would probably have been outside demonstrating against it had it been staged by the BNP.

But when it comes to supporting the Palestinians anything goes, including anti-Semitic plays.

Although last night’s protest outside the Polish centre was relatively small it was effective with the Chanukah candles bringing some welcome light to a very dark evening.

(Thanks to The Party Store, 62 Edgware Way, Edgware T:02089589797 for supplying the candles and to the CST, the ZF and the police.)

A protestor makes his feelings known outside the Polish centre.

A protestor makes his feelings known outside the Polish centre.

The Polish Centre where the PSC staged Seven Jewish Children.

The Polish Centre where the PSC staged Seven Jewish Children.

There is no such thing as anti-Semitism.

Outside St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall, Chiswick last night.

Outside St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall, Chiswick last night.

St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall, Chiswick was the quaint setting for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s latest event to try to tear down the only Jewish state in the world.

When I arrived I accidentally walked into the main church where there was a carol service rehearsal taking place.

In stark contrast to the hymns as I climbed the steps to the large room on top I could hear Ben White spewing out poison about Israel.

Inside St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall last night.

Inside St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall last night.

Ben White is on a mission to sell his book Israeli Apartheid, A Beginner’s Guide.

He regaled us with maps, quotes and general distortions about the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while a mostly sympathetic audience shook their heads and tut tutted the whole way through.

For 45 minutes he built up a picture of Israel as a “racist apartheid” state in readiness for the book signing afterwards.

Andrew Slaughter, MP for Hammersmith and Shadow Justice Minister, was there listening in.

Last week Slaughter met Muhammad Totah and Ahmad Atoun of Hamas.

The chairman for the evening, a prominent anti-Israel figure outside Ahava and British supermarkets, told us that to resist is to exist.

In the Q&A White was asked whether he could extend his apartheid analogy to the treatment of the Palestinians in Arab countries where they are deprived of their rights to work, to vote and to citizenship. White remarked that they were indeed treated badly but that the real culprit is Israel who won’t implement the right of return. Once that right has been exercised there will be equality for all Palestinians.

But last night was not so much about White and Slaughter but the audience.

It is the mingling afterwards where you really get to know the nature of the beast you are dealing with.

When you explain that Israel has to do certain things to stop rockets landing in Israel and suicide bombings the standard response is “Well, Palestinian casualties are much higher”.

One man told me that anti-Semitism doesn’t exist anymore. He also said that no state has ever recognised Israel as a Jewish state and that David Ben Gurion only accepted United Nations Resolution 181, the partition resolution, when he found out that the Palestinians were going to reject it.

One woman asked me to prove I was British and twice I was asked why I still lived here.

On the way out another woman asked me, “How can you justify a fucking Jewish state?” I tried to explain the basis for nationalism but she wasn’t having it. She told me she was a lesbian and how absurd it would be for a group of gays to get together to form their own country.

And all this in a church.

Ben White signing his book Israeli Apartheid, a Beginner's Guide

Ben White signing his book Israeli Apartheid, a Beginner's Guide

Cameron needs to take stock about Islamic fundamentalism

Cameron (L.) meeting Erdogan (Sky News)

Cameron (L.) meeting Erdogan (Sky News)

Now we know. David Cameron is not a Zionist, although he once proclaimed that he was.

To be a Zionist is not only to believe in the right for Israel to exist as a Jewish state but also in its right to defend itself properly.

While Cameron recognises that it is right for British soldiers to fight the Afghanistan Taliban he does not seem to accord the same right to Israeli soldiers when fighting Islamist elements.

In his meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey he spoke of Israel’s attack on the Mavi Marmara as being “totally unacceptable” and referred to Gaza as being a prison camp.

This meeting came one day after the report from Wikileaks that details not only the brutality of the Taliban towards the innocent Afghani population but also the many civilian casualties among the Afghani population caused by NATO troops.

The Wikileaks report is the basis for the investigation of war crimes on a huge scale. But while Israel has been investigated for war crimes in Gaza and found guilty it is unlikely that NATO countries will be similarly investigated and found guilty for the many civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

The Wikileaks report also details NATO’s targeted assassinations of Taliban leaders either by drones operated from the Nevada desert or by secret “kill-or-capture squads”. But when Israel allegedly does the same there is worldwide condemnation followed by the expulsion of Israeli diplomats. The feeble excuse given being that British or Australian passports had been misused.

More depressingly Cameron called for Turkey’s accession to the EU. This would allow possibly hundreds of thousands of Islamists access to the UK.

Before he became Prime Minister Cameron promised to crack down on Muslim fundamentalism in the UK and especially at our universities. This included the banning of the Islamist group Hiz but-Tahrir.

But Turkey’s accession to the EU would make the kind of occurrence that took place in Golders Green, a predominantly Jewish suburb of North-West London, last Monday more ubiquitous.

Two youths on bikes approached a car with Jewish kippah-wearing teenagers in it. They yelled Alluah Akbar (G-d is Great) at the Jewish teenagers, who got out to remonstrate. The Jewish teenagers were then chased through Golders Green.

One of the youths, who was black, went to grab a bottle of drink from a shop and smashed it over the head of one of the Jewish teenagers. Blood poured from the wound.

Then the other youth cried “Algeria, Algeria F*ck the Jews” before both youths cycled off at speed.

The Jewish teenager was taken to hospital to have his wound and arm tended to.

This support for Turkey’s accession under Erdogan’s Islamist AK party does not accord with Cameron’s desire to crack down on Muslim fundamentalism in the UK. It would surely be better to wait till after next year’s general election in Turkey when the opposition secular party, CHP, might well take power. Even then it would be difficult to keep tabs on Turkish Islamists. EU regulations would allow Turkish citizens take up residence in the UK.

And while Cameron may still seek to crack down on Muslim fundamentalism in the UK, although there is no sign of that so far, other mainstream organisations have no such agenda.

On the BBC there was a recent televised debate about Afghanistan: Are British soldiers are dying in vain?

One of the panellists was from the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) who agreed with the motion. The potential disastrous effects of British troops withdrawing from Afganistan seemed totally irrelevant to him including the dreadful oppression of women and homosexuals that would follow.

MPAC is itself a nasty organisation. It gets heavily involved in British general election and labels MPs as “Zionists” if they are in the least supportive of Israel. In 2005 it claimed one MP was Jewish when she wasn’t and she duly lost her seat.

MPAC recently ran a poll asking whether Israel should be moved to America. Farcical stuff but this is who the BBC thinks reflects the views of the British Muslim community, sadly. There are other more mainstream Muslim organisations like the Quilliam Foundation who hardly get a look in such debates.

It is to be seen whether Cameron’s speech in support of Turkey marks an Obama-esque change of attitude to Israel from the previous far more favourable Blair and Brown administrations.

After mocking him pre-election Cameron has now become close friends with Nick Clegg, his deputy Prime-Minister in the Con-Lib coalition. And we know that Clegg doesn’t seem to care about Israel’s security in the slightest after he called for a ban on the sale of weapons to Israel.

Cameron needs to take stock and reflect on his pre-election promises. If he doesn’t then what took place in Golders Green could become more common.

Linton forced to apologise, Kaufman silent.

Imagine you were at a pro-Israel meeting where one MP suggested that a group of millionaire Muslims controlled the Liberal Democrats and another that overseas citizens of some Muslim countries were buying their support.

Would you not feel uneasy? Would you not wish to stand up and suggest that both of these theses are entirely racist in the absence of hard proof? Imagine the denunciations and calls for resignations of said MPs.

Last wednesday, March 31, my blog “Free Palestine, Vote Labour” made the front page of the Daily Telegraph. I had blogged Martin Linton’s, now-infamous, ‘Israel tentacles’ speech. Linton is MP for Battersea.

For an informative description of the Nazi symbol of the “Jewish octopus” using its tentacles to control the world see Mark Gardner’s piece.

Linton delivered his speech in Parliament. He spoke of Israel and its supporters trying to buy an election win for the Conservatives. He was preceded by Gerald Kaufman, MP for Manchester, Gorton, who suggested that Jewish millionaires control large parts of the Conservative Party.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Linton “said he did not recognise the ‘tentacles comment'”. As the Jewish Chronicle has just reported Linton has now come clean and finally apologised for any offence caused “but was not aware of the anti-Semitic precedents of the image of a Jewish octopus”.

But even disregarding Linton’s Damascene Conversion he stands by the rest of his speech; Israel and its supporters buying a Conservative election win.

Meanwhile, Gerald Kaufman made “no comment” to the Daily Telegraph about his “Jewish millionaires” comment. If he stands by this comment he should name names.

Linton and Kaufman should both name names otherwise nasty inferences with dangerous implications and insidious overtones are left to hang in the air; in Kaufman’s case that some British Jews and in Linton’s case that British supporters of Israel, are more interested and more committed to another country, Israel, than to this one.

Once these “funders” are out in the open they can decide whether to sue Linton or Kaufman or both for defamation. Have Linton and Kaufman the courage of their convictions? I doubt it and therefore they are not worthy of being British MPs.

Jews and money go, unfairly, together. If only it were true but many Jews, just like many of other religions and none, struggle around the world to make ends meet. The Jewish money-myth was created some 200 years ago when Jews were barred from many of the main professions and had to resort to money-lending to make a living. Incredibly, the myth still persists in today’s British political culture.

Jewish people should not be constantly blighted with accusation of buying power, whether in Nazi Germany or today’s so-called liberal multi-cultural Britain.

How liberal and multi-cultural can it really be when we hear such comments by Linton and Kaufman? Can such thinking really be so alive in “multicultural” Britain?

If this is what two MPs can stand up and say in public one dreads to imagine what is said in private by many others.

And there was not a stir from the audience or other members of the panel or the Chairman, not an objection raised. The speeches were, in fact, applauded by the 100 or so in the room.

I could have spoken up and objected to the anti-Jewish implications of some of the rhetoric but I have been to many of these anti-Israel meetings and the police waiting outside are instantly called by the Chair to remove anyone making a fuss. I did not wish to be unceremoniously hauled out by the police to huge applause, as has been the fate of others who have made reasonable objections.

More importantly Linton and Kaufman are our law makers. They either reflect or influence the morality of our country.

And even having to report these insidious speeches will impact negatively on Jews and Israel.

Enemies of Israel and the Jewish people will see the headlines and think there is no smoke without fire. The ignorant look for anything that bolsters their myopic view of the world. This poster thinks:

“We have a foreign minister with dual israeli citizenship, and now we find out that the Tory party is bankrolled by Israelis with dual citizenship.
Britain should have a policy of not issuing passports to people with an Israeli Passport.”

David Miliband, an Israeli citizen?

Some of our politicans have no shame but I hope their constituents do and vote Kaufman and Linton out on May 6th.

Preferably they won’t get to May 6th as, by then, Labour will have taken its own action to deselect them.

But don’t hold your breathe.

Martin Linton MP (left) chairing another anti-Israel meeting in Parliament

Galloway gone from Talksport.

Tonight really is different from all other nights. After four years of fulminating and proselytising against Israel on Talksport Radio every friday and saturday night, George Galloway’s radio show is no more.

Galloway says:

“After a run of more than four years the highly popular radio show – The Mother of All Talkshows – has been killed off by the TalkSport management. I believe this is a business mistake, but then I don’t run the radio station and such decisions are not mine to take….It is unlikely that the TalkSport management will change their mind and re-instate the show – but you never know.”

George Galloway listening on.

Obviously, George’s listening figures fell short of Talksport’s desires.

Reasoned listeners enjoy a debate but what they tend to get with George is just one-side of the argument.

(Yours truly was “banned” from the show for “deceiving the listeners”.)

Callers had to cough up 10 pence-per-minute to hang on the line while George seems to have earned over £100k a year while working at Talksport.

George is instead launching an internet radio station called Rebel Radio which will be “free speech radio, beyond Ofcom”.

The internet is the best place for George but there will be some television appearances and there is the general election to consider.

In 2005 when George was elected in Bethnal Green and Bow he received 15,801 votes out of the 44,007 votes cast out of, approximately, 87,000 eligible voters.

Incredibly, only some 18% of his constituents actually voted for him!

Approximately 82% of the voters he has represented over the last five years didn’t “vote George”.

Maybe this partially explains why on May 6th George will be standing in neighbouring Poplar and Limehouse instead.

Much more serious are his appearances at our universities.

At Queen Mary, University of London recently he produced this chilling rhetoric about Israel:

“I want to say to those of ill-will, should any of them be present here this evening. We will never be intimidated by you. You can send all the emails you can organise, all the synthetic fury that you like. You can complain to OFCOM, you can complain to the Charity Commission, you can even complain to the Metropolitan Police. We will never be intimidated by you. We intend to speak the truth. We will never put down the banner of truth on this issue. We will not be silenced. You cannot intimidate us. If you kill us, our sons will pick up the banner. If you kills our sons, our daughters will pick up the banner. If you kill our daughters, others will pick up the banner. This idea of the liberation of Palestine is not negotiable and it’s not stoppable. It’s an idea whose time has come and it’s going to win, be sure about that. Be sure that Palestine will be free, that the Palestinian people will return to their homes and that the gangsters running the government of what they call Israel will in the end be defeated, because the essence of their ideology is apartheid.”

He continued: “Never make the mistake of imagining that supporters of Zionism and Israel liked Jews. If you think George Bush liked Jews you never visited his golf club in Texas, where they don’t let them in, at least as members.”

I have still to understand who those of “ill-will” might be and why anyone would want to kill George or his sons or daughters.

So George is gone but not without at least some fun memories as when “Mark” called in to his show. “Mark” accused George of being an “anti-Semite” and George then demanded “Mark’s” name and address live on air so he could send him a writ for libel.

Is George really deluded enough to think someone will reveal their full name and home address on national radio?

I won’t publish the call here but you could possibly go to youtube and search for “george galloway + accusation of anti Semitism = fireworks!”

I don’t think George is anti-Semitic in the slightest but it is a fun listen!

Anyway, coming to a laptop near you soon, George Galloway at Rebel Radio.

Ken Bates responds to anti-Semitic chants

Ken Bates, Chairman of Leeds United (Daily Mail)

I wrote to Ken Bates a few weeks ago after seeing a child give a Hitler salute and hearing some fans around me singing “Spurs are on their way to Belsen” at the Leeds v Spurs FA Cup replay at Elland Road on February 3rd.

He very kindly telephoned me a few days later and the gist of what he said is as stated in his programme notes on the subject for tonight’s home game against Walsall. They are as follows:

I had a complaint from a Leeds fan who lives in London about the anti-Jewish chanting when we played Spurs. The substituting of “Auschwitz” and “Belsen” when the Spurs fans were singing that they were “on the road to Wembley” is so old hat. The Second World War ended 65 years ago and I had to contend with the same nonsense nearly 30 years ago when I was at Chelsea. Do me a favour, please grow up.

In case you don’t know it Leeds is a club with strong Jewish connections. In fact I am one of the few non-Jewish chairman going back as far as I can remember. I don’t have a problem with Jews. I was, in fact, the only gentile in Jerusalem at a bar mitzvah and looked so Jewish with my beard, little black hat and overcoat that I was asked to join other ceremonies.

There are a few exceptions (I could name one or two) but by and large they are a talented race who punch above their weight in all aspects of society. Mind you, the north London lot don’t help themselves by describing themselves as “Tottenham Yids”. In the old days they even wore badges to that effect.

However, it is not good enough to write to me some days later complaining after the event. Around the ground at Elland Road there are boards advising you of the text number 07946 362117. If you have a problem, use it – whereupon our response team will be quick to react. Remember, for evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.

Leeds United and anti-Semitism

Leeds United (epltalk)

I read a fascinating but sad piece by Jessica Elgot of the JC on the racism she encountered at the Spurs v Leeds game last weekend.

I thought it would be the normal diatribe about Spurs fans singing “Yid Army” being anti-Semitic. It really isn’t. Spurs fans sing it week in week out and there has never been a hint of anti-Semitism about it. Spurs basically has always had a large Jewish following and a Jewish board of directors. The fans mean nothing sinister and if it allows them a good singalong (something severely lacking at their north London neighbours) then so be it.

The only thing that Spurs fans can really be accused of is thinking that Spurs are better than they really are.

But Jessica noticed something much more sinister: Some Leeds fans singing “Spurs are on their way to Belsen”.

Jessica writes: “But the Leeds fans went nowhere around White Hart Lane without being chaperoned by about twenty police officers per fan. Most were singing these chants in full view of the police. Who did nothing. No warning. No arrests. Nothing. What did the Tottenham door staff do, as the Leeds fans entered through the turnstiles, singing about gas chambers? Nothing. It was easier to keep their heads down and shut up.”

I have to admit that I was safely tucked away surreptitiously among the Spurs fans so I was immune to this chanting while biting my nails everytime Spurs won one of their many freekicks on the edge of Leeds United’s penalty area. But it doesn’t surprise me.

Leeds United have come a long way. When I was at Leeds University I used to go to every Leeds home game and always used to pass a member of the National Front selling the current issue of its magazine. Once I encountered a Leeds fan with a swastika tattoo.

These days there is nothing like that at Elland Road, just a good feeling of being surrounded by friendly, down-to-earth Yorkshire folk. Elland Road is one of the best places in Britain where whites, blacks, asians, Muslims, Jews and Christians sit down in unity to cheer their team on. There is no sectarianism or racism. 

Lucas Radebe (golplanet)

But Leeds on the road is a different affair.

When I went to see Millwall v Leeds a few years ago the Leeds fans booed their way through the minute’s silence for George Best, so much so that the referee had to call an end to the silent respect for a once great player after just 30 seconds. And on the way to the train afterwards a Leeds fan was literally singing the horrendous Munich 1958 plane crash song right in front of a policeman.  

This is all just a minority of fans and Leeds is not an inherently racist club. There is no racism ever about black or asian players and Lucas Radebe will always be loved by every Leeds fan for his commitment to and passion for Leeds United (the Keiser Chiefs, huge Leeds fans themselves, named themselves after his South African club). 

Leeds have always had a hooligan element; Leeds thugs are known as the Leeds Service Crew, also known as the Risk. But while the hooliganism and racism has mainly gone there is still an element that prevails. 

There is probably not much Leeds can do about this element. Now it is probably down to society to educate more about the horrors of the Holocaust and Holocaust Memorial Day this wednesday is a good start but not enough.

Maybe Ken Bates could have a say in his programme notes at the Leeds v Spurs replay on February 3rd about the sinister chanting that Jessica heard.