MICHAEL PEARLMAN SAYS: High time for debate about anti-Semitism

IN light of events in Rome, where a Tottenham fan was stabbed, and allegations of West Ham supporters’ chants at Spurs supporters at White Hart Lane, anti-Semitism seems to be the latest hot topic in football.

As a Tottenham fan and a man whose family origins are as suggested by my surname, this is a subject close to my heart and one I’m glad is finally coming to light.

Not because I have any desire to label all West Ham supporters as racist as some will, nor because I feel the issue has come to a tipping point.

I’m glad simply because this is long, long overdue.

A list of grounds where I’ve heard offensive taunts about Tottenham’s Jewish fanbase over the years would be too long for this allotted space.

It’s the reason Spurs fans use the Y word at all.

I can give you some highlights though: Being called a Jew **** (the really bad one) by fans when I was a 14-year old mascot at an away ground.

Hissing noises at three different London grounds and taunts about Auschwitz sadly heard by all from the press box during an FA Cup match with Cardiff.

And to my eternal shame, never as a writer have I tackled this subject.

It’s high time this was addressed and I don’t care a jot it’s getting heightened coverage only because of the current landscape.

In light of cases involving John Terry, Luis Suarez, Mark Clattenburg (why Chelsea won’t apologise to him is beyond me) and Marvin Sordell, the racism issue is back on the agenda.

And while that leads to some cheap headlines and opportunists looking to make a name for themselves, it can never be a bad thing when efforts to eradicate racism are high on the agenda.

In the case of anti-Semitism, I merely wonder why it has been taboo for so long.

Comments (1)

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3:41pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Robert Shillabeer says...

Anti-Semitism seems to be found mainly in the area of inner cities and in the lower levels of society. This is because of very old views and the norm amongst some groups of the UK population. I worked in central London for many years among people from various parts of the world and many of different religions without seeing such divisions. Education has failed many people over the years in so far as tolerance toward other cultures and religious beliefs is concerned and it will take many years before it is gone for good. However, there is still very strong resentment among the older generation and its that that needs challenging before the views of a few can be passed to the younger generation. Racist and religious hatred still remains in some parts of the country and although this is to be deplored its a fact we all must try and resolve for the better.
Anti-Semitism seems to be found mainly in the area of inner cities and in the lower levels of society. This is because of very old views and the norm amongst some groups of the UK population. I worked in central London for many years among people from various parts of the world and many of different religions without seeing such divisions. Education has failed many people over the years in so far as tolerance toward other cultures and religious beliefs is concerned and it will take many years before it is gone for good. However, there is still very strong resentment among the older generation and its that that needs challenging before the views of a few can be passed to the younger generation. Racist and religious hatred still remains in some parts of the country and although this is to be deplored its a fact we all must try and resolve for the better. Robert Shillabeer
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