By Fern Sidman
Following the recent war between Israel and Hamas terrorists in Gaza, Italian soccer fans unfurled a banner reading, “Free Palestine,” at a match last Thursday in Rome when the Italian team Lazio played their British rivals the Tottenham Hotspur. Local media initially blamed Thursday’s attack on hard-core fans or, “ultras,” supporting Lazio, who Tottenham had traveled to the capital to play in the Europa League.
The Tottenham club has a large contingent of Jewish fans. In addition to taunting the British fans with the provocative banner, witnesses told Italian media that masked men armed with knives and baseball bats shouted, “Jews, Jews,” as they laid siege to a pub where the Tottenham supporters were drinking in a district popular with tourists in an old quarter of Rome.