Weissman, Atal and the usual double standards
The Atal and Weissman cases are clear evidence of this.
January 3, 2024 Youcef AtalFootball player of Algerian nationality for OGC Nice, Was sentenced to eight months in prison (with a suspended sentence) for inciting religious hatred. In fact, in the tumult of controversy following the October 7 attacks, the player had clearly sided with the Palestinians on his social media channels: first with a symbolic post in which he showed himself holding the Palestinian flag and the phrase ” Free Palestine”; At the same time, he shared a video on Instagram Stories of Islamic preacher Mahmoud Al Hasanat, who hoped that God would have “a black day” for Israel.
Despite the player's public apology, Nice reacted drastically and imposed a ban “until further notice”. So, within a few days, Atal was surrounded: first by the disciplinary committee of the French championship, which decided this suspend him for seven days effective October 31st. Then the Nice Public Prosecutor's Office opened an investigation for “excusing terrorism” and “incitement to religious hatred,” which was later transformed into “provocation to religious hatred.” The only one who did not pursue him was the Algerian national team, which did not comment on the issue and called him up for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
However, there is now another, parallel story that has received less international attention. We're talking about the Israeli footballer from Granada Shon Weissmanwhich made headlines after the harsh statement from The Hinchada del Arlanzón, Ultras group from Burgos CF, a Spanish second division club to which Weissman himself could move, according to rumors. An indignation that some can attribute to tweet, like and retweet from the footballer a few hours after the Hamas attack.
“Destroy. Squeeze. Squeeze. For God's vengeance“, “What is the logical reason why 200 tons of bombs have not already been dropped on Gaza?”
It still is “Why doesn't Ezael shoot him in the head?!?“, accompanied by an image showing an Israeli soldier pointing his rifle at two presumably naked Palestinian terrorists. Weissman wrote and shared this, in addition to liking disturbing tweets like “All of Gaza supports terrorism. All of Gaza is dead“. Everything was then done promptly deleted – after looking around the internet – with the footballer clarifying that these messages were not his work but that of his social media manager. The most classic buck passing.
Weissman was investigated following a complaint from some Palestinian citizens living in Granada, although there is currently no news. And yet he was never suspended by the club, but will not be called up for the next game against Osasuna for security reasons. As ANSA reports and sources from the Andalusian club specify, the decision to leave him at home was actually made on the advice of the Spanish authorities: not too far-fetched an idea considering that it was in the first minutes of the game Palestinian flags appeared in the stands while home fans loudly chanted against Weissmann himself.
Two meter verdict In short, those who are followed by completely different clubs and associations. If, on the one hand, the French federation disqualified Atal for seven days and his club suspended him for sharing the video of a preacher who hoped for God's intervention to give Israel a black day after the invasion of Gaza, on the other hand, it was touching the Spanish Federation and Granada did not give a finger (except for prevention, as in the game against Osasuna) to a footballer who hoped for the cancellation of Gaza.
In fact, they even showed up Article who denounced the growing anti-Semitism in Spain for the statement of the ultras of Burgos and for the chants of those of Osasuna, as if they were not the consequence of a footballer who expressed and shared shocking concepts, thereby silencing the entire population of Gaza became a bunch of terrorists and hoped that it would be treated as such, vandalized and bombed.
Two weights, two measurements. Although these are two different associations in which the clubs are free to decide how to punish their members, the severity of the actions is the same for both. One of the many representations, this time with a football background, like this Double standards in the West reaches new heights and how Martin Luther King's dire prediction slowly turns into bitter reality: “If you are not careful, the media will make you hate the oppressed and love the oppressors». And the (football) institutions too.