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Women's World Cup players to watch. Manchester City defends Premier League crown. Looking back at a magical night in Anfield. Allez Allez Allez: Liverpool's European anthem. The dockworker, as it is known in English, stands as a permanent reminder of the day Amsterdam came together on February 25, to protest against the anti-Semitic laws imposed on its Jewish citizens by the Germans.
Follow cnnsport. At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe, the vandalizing of the "De Dokwerker" statue last week caused headlines both inside and outside the country.
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The 'De dokwerker' statue, commemorating the strike against the German occupation during WWII, was covered with yellow and green paint by rival supporters. But the nature of the vandalism, the green and yellow paint on the statue, and the painting of green swastikas on the street, suggested a blurring of the lines between anti-Semitism, and hatred of the city's football club, Ajax.
Throughout the Netherlands, and much of Europe, Ajax is known as a "Jewish club. ADO Den Haag, issued a statement in which it apologized for the graffiti. Stalls close to the Johan Cruyff Arena sell Israeli flags to supporters. Amsterdam was once a bustling center of Jewish life, home to the Sephardi community who arrived from Iberia in the 16th century, and to an Ashkenazi community who fled from Poland.
Before the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in , an estimated 80, of the country's , Jews lived in Amsterdam. Many of those who perished would go and watch Ajax, but it was really in the s and s that Ajax became known as a "Jewish club. Some of the chairmen who led the club during the 60s and 70s were Jewish, while it also had Jewish players such as Bennie Muller and Sjaak Swaart. The club's Jewish links often led to anti-Semitic abuse from rival supporters. To counter that, a section of fans began to fight back by calling themselves "Super Jews," adopting the Israeli flag as a symbol and wearing the Star of David.
Like those who follow English club Tottenham Hotspur, this was seen as a response toward rival fans who used anti-Semitism to attack the Ajax support. Ajax All-access: The Future I can understand fans a little, because they like walk behind the flag and have a symbol. But this is the wrong symbol, you know? Don't start calling, 'We are the Jews. Endt, who is Jewish, also says the club itself must do more to tackle the problem, making education a key part of the solution.
I don't think so.
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Ajax icon Danny Blind speaks about Appie Nouri Speaking to CNN, a number of Ajax supporters who refused to give their names, insisted the use of Jewish symbolism had nothing to do with religion. Another added: "It's nothing to do with that religion , it's just nostalgia for them. One supporter described the relationship as "complicated," adding: "That's heritage from a long way ago, it's also the identity of Ajax.
Off the field, the Dutch football authorities have made the eradication of anti-Semitism a priority. Ajax is competing in this season's European Champions League. Last year the body set up a working group along with a number of social interest groups to tackle discrimination as a whole.
Sanctions have been upgraded with clubs handed higher fines, partial stadium closures and individuals banned for up to five years for anti-Semitic chanting. In addition, an education program has been set up to tackle racism and anti-Semitism in football. In a statement sent to CNN, the KNVB said it was "important to stress that we take the matter of discrimination inside football stadiums very seriously, whether it be anti-Semitism or any other form of discrimination.
Ajax All-access: The Present The link between Ajax, the Jewish community and anti-Semitism remains a highly divisive issue. A coalition of prominent ultra-Orthodox rabbis and community members have accused critics of yeshivas of attacking religious freedoms.
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This past summer, the organization, known as Pearls, handed out 10, posters and bumper stickers emblazoned with the hashtag ProtectYeshivas to parents of children in Orthodox Jewish schools. City officials are now required to visit all nonpublic schools by the end of — which will coincide with the end of Mr. If that does not work, the city can withhold some funding it provides private schools.
In an interview, the city schools chancellor, Richard A. Carranza, said that he had requested training for Department of Education employees who will visit the schools, and that he would prioritize visits to a half-dozen yeshivas he claimed have barred city officials from entry. After that, he plans to send staffers to several dozen other yeshivas that were listed on the complaint as having insufficient secular education. Carranza said. Peters, the former Department of Investigations chief. After he was fired, Mr. The issue has since been elevated, and there is a question of whether the mayor sought to tamp down probes into his own administration.
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Peters, Margaret M. Advocates for more secular education in yeshivas found reason to celebrate last month, when Democrats seized a commanding majority in the New York State Senate. The Senate flip robbed Senator Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn Democrat, of an enviable swing vote that he used last year to add protections for yeshivas in the 11th hour of state budget negotiations.
Young Advocates for Fair Education, Mr. Felder, who represents Orthodox enclaves of Brooklyn, declined to comment. Still, enormous obstacles remain for those who want the city to shine a spotlight on yeshivas.