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  • Supporters of Beitar Jerusalem cheer for their team during a soccer match against Maccabi Umm el-Fahm at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem Jan. 29, 2013.

    Supporters of Beitar Jerusalem cheer for their team during a soccer match against Maccabi Umm el-Fahm at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem Jan. 29, 2013. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 January 2020

Maccabi Bnei Raina, Reineh's football club is due to play an away match against Beitar Jerusalem on Thursday evening as part of the State Cup of Israel tournament.

Fans of the Israeli football club Beitar Jerusalem were caught Thursday by security cameras writing an anti-Arab banner before burning it and allegedly attempting to set fire to a nearby corner shop ahead of a cup match against Al-Reineh’s football team.

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The owner of the house and the commercial store in the town told Arab 48 that “he saw enormous fire burning in the street near our shops, and I saw four young men with their faces exposed and carrying a sign about three meters in length that read in Hebrew: "Death to the children of Reina, to hell."

Maccabi Bnei Raina, Reineh's football club which competes in Israel’s second division, is due to play an away match against Beitar Jerusalem on Thursday evening as part of the State Cup of Israel tournament.

Officially named Beitar Trump Jerusalem Football Club, the team was established in 1936 as part of a nationalistic Zionist strategy. Since then the team has become a Zionist symbol and hub for far-right sentiments and fans in Israel. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the most prominent fans of the team. In 2018, after United States President Donald Trump illegally and unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the team officially added the head of states' name to its own. 

Its fans are internationally known for their racist chants and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim rhetoric. They can usually  be heard singing at their matches “here we are, the most racist team in the country!” or their infamous trademark song “Death to Arabs.” 

In 2013, the club's offices were torched over the signing of two Muslim football players from Chechnya, Zaur Sadayev and Dzhabrail Kadiyev.

The most vocal supporters are part of the ultra-nationalist “La Familia” group. These fans are well known for their pride in the fact that Beitar is the only team in the Israeli Premier League that has never signed an Arab player.

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