Saturday, February 11, 2017
Some sanity in Europe: An Italian judge has ruled that soccer fans chanting a slogan featuring the word “Jews” was not hate speech
The ruling, of course, sparked an angry response from the Jewish community. In a letter to Italy’s justice minister, Andrea Orlando, the president of the Rome Jewish community, Ruth Dureghello called the ruling “undoubtedly an alarming precedent for justice” in Italy that “in essence legitimizes the use of the adjective Jew in a derogatory and racist form and in any case a tool of derision during sporting events.” Orlando said that he would look into the matter. The president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Noemi Di Segni, issued a separate protest to soccer authorities. The case dates back to March 2013, when two fans of the Lazio soccer team were caught on camera during a match between Lazio and Catania chanting “giallorosso ebreo,” Italian for “yellow-red Jew” — apparently directed against the Catania team. The chant refers to Lazio’s archrival, Roma, whose team colors are yellow and red. In his ruling, Judge Ezio Damizia acquitted the pair of incitement and racial hatred, saying the term “giallorosso ebreo” was aimed simply at “ridiculing the opposing team” and fell within the scope of the long “sporting rivalry” between Lazio and Roma. Nice to see someone with enough guts to stand up to the Jews.