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Antisemitic mural drawn of Dutch soccer star after he signs with ‘Jewish’ team

Steven Berghuis transfers to his team’s rival, Ajax, known for Jewish fanbase; player depicted with enlarged nose, kippah and concentration camp garb

Steven Berghuis of the Netherlands during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group C match between North Macedonia National Team and Netherlands National Team at Johan Cruijff Arena in in Amsterdam, Netherlands on June 21, 2021. (Marcel ter Bals/BSR Agency/Getty Images via JTA)
Steven Berghuis of the Netherlands during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group C match between North Macedonia National Team and Netherlands National Team at Johan Cruijff Arena in in Amsterdam, Netherlands on June 21, 2021. (Marcel ter Bals/BSR Agency/Getty Images via JTA)

JTA — After a Dutch soccer star left his team to sign with its rival Ajax, a team with many fans that affectionately call themselves “Jews,” he was drawn into an antisemitic mural in Rotterdam.

The mural, which appeared after 29-year-old soccer player Steven Berghuis signed with Ajax on Monday, contained the text “Jews always run away” and included a portrait of Berghuis with an enlarged nose, a kippah, and a concentration camp prison shirt with a yellow Jewish star of the kind Nazis forced Jews to wear.

Ajax’s fanbase has had a high percentage of Jews for decades, and fans often fly Israeli flags at matches. Fans of opposing teams have sometimes chanted antisemitic and otherwise offensive slogans at Ajax players and supporters.

Berghuis, who also plays for the Dutch national team, left Feyenoord to join Ajax. The two clubs are two of the country’s most storied franchises, and bitter rivals.

The mural was removed a few hours after it was put up, and the antisemitic act was condemned by both teams and by local authorities.

The Israeli Information and Documentation Center, or CIDI, an organization combating antisemitism in the Netherlands said that it had filed a police complaint.

There was a “good chance” the culprit would be caught thanks to nearby closed-circuit cameras, CIDI said, according to The Algemeiner.

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