Israeli football fans turned away after wearing shirts with anti-Ben Gvir slogans

Israeli football fans turned away after wearing shirts with anti-Ben Gvir slogans
The Israeli football fans were stopped from entering the stadium due to their shirts mocking extremist minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.
3 min read
29 April, 2024
Ben-Gvir (C) was recently involved in a car crash in which he sustained some injuries [Getty]

Two Israeli fans were barred from entering a stadium in Tel Aviv to watch a football match on Saturday night over shirts they wore that were deemed insulting to Israel’s extremist National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

According to Haaretz, two men, who were in a group of three, were stopped at the Bloomfield Stadium by police and asked to show their shirts, which read "FCK BNGVR". They were then told they could not enter.

One of the men who spoke to Haaretz said their third friend wore a shirt that read "F*ck Maccabi Tel Aviv" – an Israeli football team – but was allowed to enter, describing the incident as "very worrying" since the anti-Ben-Gvir slogan was not inciting.

The three had gone to watch Hapoel Tel Aviv play Beitar Jerusalem.

Ben-Gvir, recently involved in a car crash in which he sustained injuries, has a history of inciting violence against Palestinians. He became minister of national security in Benjamin Netanyahu’s current cabinet, in late 2022.

The extremist minister, a settler from the occupied West Bank and leader of the far-right Jewish Power party opposes Palestinian statehood and any ceasefire in Gaza.

He has recently been met with opposition from Israelis angered over their government’s inability to retrieve captives taken by Hamas on 7 October and still held in Gaza.

Although he supported a November hostage deal between Hamas and Israel, Ben-Gvir has repeatedly voiced opposition to any further agreements with the Palestinian movement.

Israel says out of some 250 captives taken by Hamas, around 130 remain in Gaza.

Hamas says its 7 October attack, which resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, came in response to Israel’s occupation and continued aggression against the Palestinian people.

Israel’s offensive has since killed more than 34,000 people in Gaza, mostly women and children.


"Can’t you kill some?"

During a recent Israeli war cabinet meeting, Ben-Gvir reportedly asked why some men being detained in Gaza by Israeli forces were not being shot dead, echoing previous remarks where he suggested some prisoners should be executed to make space in Israeli jails.

"Why are there so many arrests? Can’t you kill some? Do you want to tell me they all surrender? What are we to do with so many arrested? It’s dangerous for the soldiers," Ben-Gvir asked, according to The Times of Israel newspaper which cited Israeli media reports.

His comments were made during a meeting in which Israeli army chief Herzi Halevi briefed ministers on military operations in Gaza, alleging that hundreds of gunmen surrendered to Israeli troops.

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Ben-Gvir had also previously suggested execution as a solution to overcrowding in Israeli jails brimming with Palestinian prisoners - many of whom are under administrative detention without charge or trial.

Over 5,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israeli forces since the start of the war on Gaza on 7 October, according to the territory’s government.

Israel’s Public Defender’s Office said that some of the country's prisons had been placed under a state of emergency due to severe overcrowding.

The report said that thousands of prisoners sleep on mattresses on the floor and that many of the facilities had poor sanitary conditions, pest issues, inadequate ventilation as well as no equipment.

Many of those later released speak of the torture and abuse they incurred.