The Israeli national team manager , Alon Hazan, has offered his opinion on the current debate in his homeland over whether or not Liel Abada should quit Celtic.
“I don’t want to put myself in Abada’s shoes.
“He did sacred work in his national service and asked Celtic’s manager to issue a condemnation against the fans who are known to be anti-Semitic despite there being many Israeli players at the club.”
Abada is in a difficult situation, having grown up in Israel and having perhaps a different viewpoint on Palestine. That is entirely his own issue, and whether or not one agrees with him, it is his opinion, and we have to respect that.
What I do have an issue with is being labelled anti semitic. I guess what we all have an issue with is being labelled anti semitic.
Supporters have called on the board to defend our reputation, and although a spokesman for the club has indeed said as such, the board have remained silent.
And rightly so, bevause something they did a while ago would come back and bite a huge chunk out of their collective arse if they did.
Celtic Diary Saturday November 21 2015: So, I Hear I’m a Racist Now
That was when chairman Iain Bankier defended Lord Livingston of Parkhead, a fellow board member, who he claimed, had been
subject to a torrent of utterly base personal abuse conducted over social media over recent weeks’.
‘The messages posted, in quite a few cases are criminally racist and in all cases the vocabulary chosen is base and highly abusive.
‘And what sickens me to the core is that the campaign is conducted in the name of (Celtic founder) Brother Walfrid.
‘Ian Livingston is a consummately able business executive. We are grateful that he is prepared to devote his time and considerable talents to the affairs of this club.
The fact that he also happens to be a member of the House of Lords creates no conflict of interest with the business of Celtic.
‘We are a football club. We play football – and we are good at it. Our fans come from every quarter of society and share the common bond of supporting the team.
‘We are not a conduit for political statements and campaigns. No fan or section of fans has the right to set up a stall that proclaims political intolerance in the name of what they invariably cite as their club.
‘Our club is not available to anyone for that purpose.
‘I condemn this activity and appeal to you to see it for what it is because intolerance soon leads to hatred and hatred leads to a lot worse as we well know.’
( For a bit of context, Tory Lord Livingston had voted in favour of tax credit cuts for the poor, and it had been pointed out to him that this was against the ethos of our club. )
If our board were to speak out, then I’m fairly certain this would be thrown back at them.
Effectively, Hazan is simply repeating the outrageous claim made by Bankier that Lord Livingston that we are anti semitic, which as we know is nonsense, but a default position of those defending actions that are somewhat unpalatable.
Which is why the board cannot really speak out without making themselves look like hypocrites.
We know they are hypocrites, but they mustn’t appear to be hypocrites.
I’ll say it though.
Waving a Palestinian flag does not make us anti semitic.
Condemning Israeli genocide in Gaza does not make us anti semitic.
It makes us fucking human.