Israeli Celtic star Nir Bitton and his wife subjected to torrent of online abuse
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Israeli Celtic star Nir Bitton and his wife subjected to torrent of online abuse

Defender receives hate after being sent off against arch-rivals Rangers, with his wife getting a message saying they should both be hanged

Nir Bitton ( source: Twitter)
Nir Bitton ( source: Twitter)

Celtic’s Israeli defender Nir Bitton and his wife have faced a torrent of abuse on social media following a local derby.

The footballer was sent off during Sunday’s old firm fixture against arch-rivals Rangers, which they lost, leading to antisemitic messages and threats targeting him and his wife

On tweet said: “Bitton is a Jew b*****d who should be no where [sic] our club dirty smelly Jew b******””, while a another branded him a “Zionist rat”.

His wife shared a message she received on Instagram saying they both deserved to be hanged.

Action Against Discrimination (AAD) called on the Celtic FC and the Scottish Football Association to take action.

The club, whose supporters frequently wave Palestinian flags and protest against Israeli involvement in European competitions, responded by condemning the abuse.

A spokesperson for Celtic FC said it has forwarded this vile content to the police and considers that everything should be done to identify those responsible and that all appropriate action should be taken.  Nir Bitton and his family have our full support.

“We do not believe that it is appropriate to comment further at this stage in connection with this matter”.

“Let us be very clear, those responsible for such vile comments do not represent Celtic or Celtic supporters. They are faceless and nameless.”

“For certain people to suggest that such comments represent the views of Celtic Football Club is hugely offensive and a disgraceful accusation we take extremely seriously.   Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The  Scottish FA said: “We don’t have any jurisdiction over social media posts by members of the public.”

Bar Bitton’s Instagram post

ADD Chairman Jonathan Metliss said: “Words cannot describe the abuse directed at both the player and his family in the aftermath of Saturday’s match.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism highlighted previous instances of antisemitism and hostility to Israel from Celtic supporters, including “in the Scottish FA Cup final in 2016 fans displayed a banner reading “end Zionism”.

Abuse also targeted its Jewish former director, with supporters reportedly saying: “Get this Ashkenazi c*** out of OUR club and take that other fake jew p**** Bitton with him [sic]”.

In a statement, CAA said: “With this latest episode of antisemitic abuse, a group of Celtic FC’s fans have once again brought shame on their club with their appalling Jew-baiting.

“This antisemitism is even more astonishing when such abuse is directed at the team’s own players and staff. We commend the club for reporting these individuals to the police and would be happy to assist in identifying the perpetrators. We hope that the club will also follow the example of clubs south of the border which have adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.”

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