Leading Hadash activist and head of the Joint List, MK Ayman Odeh demanded on Wednesday, October 28, not for the first time, that YouTube remove from its website a racist song insulting the Prophet Muhammad which had been posted by a racist and fascist group of supporters of an Israeli soccer team. “Any offense against a religious symbol is totally unacceptable,” Odeh wrote to YouTube. “La Familia is a racist group… and in a truly democratic state this group of terrorists would have been banned a long time ago.” The social media giant later acquiesced to Odeh’s demand and took down the video clip from its platform.Sung by the hardline “La Familia” fans of Israel’s Beitar Jerusalem soccer club, the Hebrew-language song spews insults about the Prophet Muhammad and his family. Odeh said he had written a number of times to YouTube demanding that the song be removed from their website after its posting in July 2016.
The Beitar Jerusalem soccer club has historically been considered racist, anti-Muslim and anti-Arab. According to Oren Feld, Secretary General of Hadash-Jerusalem, “The hooligan fan association of the Betar Jerusalem soccer club, is known for their violence and racist ideology. The majority of them are youth at risk, who are being exploited by their leaders, who are in turn exploited by the far right. Individuals from the Jewish settlement in Hebron have been inciting them from the stands for decades. Betar is also the favorite team of the right wing Likud Party, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a fan. He even occasionally attends games, along with other Israeli right-wing politicians.” In recent months La Familia members have conducted a number of attacks against protesters in anti-Netanyahu demonstrations in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Holon.