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Argentine Jewish group to file complaint after soccer fans’ anti-Semitic chants

Buenos Aires crowd shouting about ‘killing Jews to make soap’ may violate anti-discrimination laws, leading Jewish organization says

Illustrative: Fans of the Chacarita soccer club at a match in Buenos Aires, May 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Illustrative: Fans of the Chacarita soccer club at a match in Buenos Aires, May 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s largest Jewish collective said on Thursday it would file a complaint after some soccer fans chanted anti-Semitic slurs in the streets of Buenos Aires ahead of a match.

The chants happened before a second division clash on Tuesday between fiery Buenos Aires rivals Atlanta, a team historically linked to Argentina’s Jewish community, and Chacarita.

“We will present in court videos that are circulating in which chants with anti-Semitic content uttered by fans of Club Atletico Chacarita Juniors were registered,” said the Delegation of Argentine Israeli Associations (DAIA).

The chant sung by around 1,000 fans that were unable to enter the Chacarita stadium due to coronavirus restrictions was: “Here comes Chaca in the street, killing Jews to make soap.”

DAIA said it wanted authorities to investigate “a possible crime” against Argentina’s anti-discrimination laws.

“The episode is an incitement to violence, to persecution, to hate, and represents a threat against the Jewish community as a whole, as well as other collectives vulnerable to discrimination,” said DAIA.

The match itself, won 1-0 by Atlanta, was typically brutal with four people sent off.

In 2012, the Argentine Football Association made a historic decision to award a match to Atlanta, which initially finished 1-1, after Chacarita fans chanted anti-Semitic, “racist and xenophobic” songs.

The Jewish-Argentine community, roughly 300,000 people, was the target of the two largest attacks in the South American country’s history — against the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 and a Jewish center in 1994. The embassy bombing killed 29 and wounded over 240, the attack on the AMIA Jewish Center, which housed the DAIA head office, killed 85 and also injured hundreds. The AMIA bombing has long been linked to Iran and the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

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