Polish soccer fans display anti-Semitic banner


(JTA) — The fans of a Polish professional soccer team displayed an anti-Semitic banner during a match.

Fans of Resovia Rzeszow at a May 8 match put up a large banner showing a caricatured hook-nosed Jew with a blue and white yarmulke — the colors of the opposing team — and the phrase “Death to the Crooked Noses.”

The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday called on Andrzej Rusko, president of the Ekstraklasa professional soccer league, to sanction the team.

“This sickening display of crude anti-Semitism is an alarming manifestation of a continuing problem in Polish society, where our opinion surveys and other polls have found disturbing levels of anti-Semitic sentiment,” said Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director. “We call on the league’s president to sanction Resovia Rzeszow and to apply the anti-racism practices of the European football authority, UEFA.”

An ADL letter to Rusko said, “An equally important measure of society is how authorities react to such incidents.”

“Only 700 of Rzeszow’s 15,000 Jews survived the Holocaust,” the letter said. “Jews were starved and executed in Rzeszow’s ghetto, which was later transformed into a concentration camp for the region. Some were sent to nearby death camps, while others were shot in the forest. Calling for death to Jews on the same spot cannot go unpunished.”

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