Sunday, February 5, 2017

Dutch station apologizes for accusing soccer fans of anti-Semitism

Via Times of Israel:
The Dutch main public broadcaster apologized to supporters of a local soccer team for omitting context from reports on the singing of anti-Semitic chants by some fans of the team.

The unusual apology earlier this month by NOS was over its coverage of the January 14 match game in Utrecht between the FC Utrecht team and the Ajax club from Amsterdam. The report highlighted chants by fans of “The Jews are going to the slaughter” and “whoever doesn’t jump is a Jew.”

In reporting about the chants by Utrecht fans, the broadcaster failed to mention that fans from other teams often chant similar phrases, and some claim the chants are not anti-Semitic, NOS spokeswoman Anja van Ginhoven told the Algemeen Dagblad daily following complaints.

“It was selective outrage on our part, a blunder,” she said.

Anti-Jewish chants are common in the Netherlands in matches involving Ajax, which is associated with Jews because of the Dutch capital’s rich Jewish heritage.

Some Ajax fans self-identify as Jews and wave Israeli flags, though the team’s bosses discourage such behavior. Fans of rival teams, in turn, adopt anti-Jewish slogans and chants – including about gas chambers and SS murdering Jews – to taunt them.

“We didn’t handle it well,” van Ginhoven said about the NOS coverage of the January 14 match. “We exaggerated and we failed to set it in context. We should not have cut that text and presented it verbatim. If you cover this topic, you have to say that Utrecht supporters used the same chants that Ajax fans proudly use.”

However, Ajax fans, including ones who self-identify as “Jews,” do not chant about killing Jews.

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