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Israeei Basketball Team is Target of Anti-semitic Epithets in Italy

March 9, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Police had to intervene to prevent a riot in Varese, Italy last night when a visiting Israeli basketball team was greeted at the stadium with anti-Semitic epithets and signs saying, Jews, go back to the death comps from where you come.”

Scuffles developed when a group of Israelis, who had come to cheer the Tel Aviv Maccabi team, the European champions in 1977, tried to tear down the signs. Although the police quieted the crowd, the game was played in an atmosphere of tension. Fans of the local basketball team, the Italian champions, rooted for the players by waving large crosses. The Israelis last the game by a score of 71-58 and with it their chance to compete in this year’s European championship tournament.

MK Mordechai Virshuvsky of the Shai (Change) faction presented a motion in the Knesset today that would bar Israeli teams or delegations from attending any event where anti-Semitic demonstrations occur.

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