Professor of sports sociology Gerd von der Lippe has become accustomed to not having her often exaggerated and wrong statements regarding Israel checked or challenged. Thus, she has become so arrogant that she cannot be bothered to spell or fact check her own oped before publishing it, leaving this job to the Israeli ambassador.
I personally would hang my head in shame if publicly lampooned in such a manner, but shame is probably an unknown feeling for Ms. von der Lippe.
HE Ambassador Raphael Schutz has an easy job demonstrating the embarrassing mistakes von der Lippe gets away with in the Norwegian media:
Imprecise and misrepresentative about racism in Israel
It is strange to see how some people in parts of the public debate present simplifying generalizations about complex internal and external affairs as regards Israel.
Once again it becomes clear how easy it is to put forward serious claims about Israel without presenting sources. It is strange to see how some people in parts of the public debate present simplifying generalizations about complex internal and external affairs as regards Israel. The rhetoric is often problematic, where mere assumptions and undocumented claims are used as premises for own convictions. In this case the chronicle contains so many inaccuracies that it all simply becomes embarrassing. We can for example inform you that the name of the 18 month old Palestinian boy who was killed in the barbaric fire bombing on July 31, was named Ali Saad Dawabsheh and not Yedioth Aharonoth, which is one of Israel’s largest newspapers.
When it comes to racism and football is beyond doubt that the football team Beitar Jerusalem has a problem. The fact is that this is an exceptional case. Israeli football is on the contrary a success story when it comes to integration between Jews, Muslims and Christians. As a keen football supporter, I can proudly say that my own football team, Hapoel Tel Aviv, usually have 3 or 4 players who are not Jews. This is more than the population base would suggest.
In 2006 I was in Paris to watch the match between Hapoel and Paris Saint Germain (somewhat surprising we won 4-2). During the fight shouted some of PSG fans, “Death to the Jews”. It was somewhat ironic since two of the goals we scored were by the Arab-Christians player Salim Tuana, a goal by Jewish Elyaniv Barda and a goal by Walid Badir, a Muslim. At the time, Badir otherwise captain for both Hapoel and the national team
This episode provides a far better description of reality in Israeli football, than the shameful behavior of some Beitar fans. Without taking them in defense it is appropriate to note that in the same match against Charleroi in Belgium the home audience chanted “Send the Jews to the gas chamber,” so the racism was not unidirectional. Unfortunately, this episode, like the one I encountered in Paris, that racism is alive in European football. The racism is directed against dark-skinned, Jews and Muslims, so there was no obvious reason why von der Lippe should focus on Israel separately.
To be a little finicky; the Beitar fans did not fire any “light bombs” (in her oped, von der Lippe had claimed that the Beitar fans used “light bombs” – whatever they are, when they in fact used regular crackers – Miranda) but the fireworks of a type commonly used on European football fields.
Von der Lippe describes Beitar fans and the late Meir Kahane (not “Kane” as von der Lippe has written) as “ultra-Zionist.” This is not true; Kahane was a racist. Contrary to the clichés that are often presented, there is no common denominator between Zionism and racism.
The author writes that a group lead by Kahane’s grandchildren “are thought to have been behind the murder” on Muhammad Abu Khudair. This is incorrect. The culprits in this matter have already been arrested.
Finally, a personal note; contrary to what von der Lippe claims, I said at the meeting at which we both were present, that there are people in Israel who believe that settlement policy is problematic. There I added, and she omitted, was that despite this perception, most people think that the underlying cause of the conflict is not developments in the West Bank, but the refusal to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.