Ethiopian-Israeli Soccer Player Eli Dasa Slams ‘Sickening’ Antisemitic Chants of Vitesse Fans
Last week, a group of fans of the Dutch soccer team Vitesse chanted, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas,” at a rally in Arnhem before a home match against Ajax, an Amsterdam-based club long associated with Jews.
Eli Dasa — an Israeli player for Vitesse — was appalled by the behavior.
“In a place where the Holocaust took place, to say, ‘Jews to the gas,’ is sickening,” Dasa — who is of Ethiopian descent — told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot. “I’m proud to say I’m a Jew. I’m Black and Jewish, two of the toughest identities in the world. You are a victim of so many racist people.”
“I’m the first to stand up as an Israeli and a Jew against such phenomena,” the 28-year-old right back added. “I know what the Jews went through in this very place, so it shocks me.”
Ajax defeated Vitesse 2-1 in the game.
The chant was widely condemned and a police investigation has been opened.
“It inflamed all of the Netherlands,” Dasa said of the incident, adding that Vitesse’s management had told him he was free to condemn the fans in any way he saw fit.
Pascal van Wijk, director of Vitesse commented, “It is just deeply saddening that a small group of supporters misbehaved in such a way.”
The rally where the chant was heard occurred at the John Frost Bridge, the site of a famous battle between British and German forces in September 1944.