Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Israeli Flag Torched, Jewish Attendees Stoned During Basketball Game in Greece

Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar on Thursday denounced violence by Greek basketball fans against Israeli fans during a game the previous day as “an antisemitic attack against Jews,” as the international basketball federation FIBA announced the opening of disciplinary proceedings.

The match Wednesday in Athens descended into chaos when fans of AEK Athens burned an Israeli flag, launched fireworks and threw rocks at supporters of Hapoel Jerusalem.

In a statement, Zohar demanded action against AEK Athens and said he spoke with the head of FIBA, members of Hapoel Jerusalem and Greece’s deputy sports minister, Eleftherios Avgenakis.

The statement said Avgenakis relayed a message from Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressing sadness over the incident, adding that a suspect was arrested and that more arrests were possible.

FIBA’s Basketball Champions League (BCL) meanwhile announced the opening of a probe into the violence.

“Clubs that are unable to provide… a safe environment will be sanctioned accordingly,” it said.

A Hapoel Jerusalem fan who was at the game recalled the violence during an interview Thursday, describing the rioting as “a terror incident against Israeli Jews.”

“We put the women and children in the bathrooms and locked the stall doors. Lives were in danger,” Victoria Gur Aryeh told Kan public radio.

She accused AEK Athens supporters of calling the Israelis “murders” and waving banners with swastikas, while noting they torched an Israeli flag and not a Hapoel Jerusalem flag.

“Five hundred Israelis were attacked abroad in a terrifying manner,” she added.

Hapoel Jerusalem’s head of communications similarly called the violence “a terror attack.”

Roi Cohen told Kan that Greek police separated the sides but were helpless when the AEK Athens fans started hurling rocks and shooting off fireworks.

“We considered calling off the game and not going to the second half, but we understood from the police that if we did that it would cause chaos and a larger pogrom,” Cohen said.

The game, the second in a FIBA Champions League quarterfinal series, ended in a 94-78 AEK victory. A rematch is due to be held next week in Israel.

Source: https://www.timesofisrael.com/sports-minister-slams-violence-by-greek-basketball-fans-as-antisemitic-attack/