As we reported earlier on this website, Nir Biton’s posting a prayer for the Israeli Defence Force has hit a raw nerve with elements of the Celtic support.
The backlash has seen Biton the target of abuse, criticism and even anti-Semitic hate messages from elements of the Celtic support.
Now a British-born Canadian TV host has weighed into the furore by labelling Celtic and their fans as ‘jew-haters’.
Michael Coren, host of night-time TV show The Arena on Canada’s Sun News Network, laid into the Celtic fans targeting Biton.
Coren, through his official twitter account, labelled Celtic ‘a team based & built on sectarian hatred, religious tribalism and now Jew-hatred. Hypocrites!’
He added: “[Celtic] they’re a mid Division 1 English team with fans who love the IRA & hate Israel’. I know what awful football Celtic play and what vile politics their fans have.”
The self-professed Spurs fan then received significant abuse and criticism himself for comments about Celtic and their fans, before he tweeted: “Filth, abuse, Jew-hatred, ignorance spewed at me from Celtic fans. What fun and what a surprise!”
When approached by Scotzine for comment, Coren said: “I deleted one of the comments because it was too harsh. Is Celtic far too sectarian? Certainly. But it is, alas, not alone in Glasgow.
“It was not, however, founded on hatred and for that comment I apologize. But as for anti-Semitism and unformed, ignorant, obsessive anti-Zionism, I have seen this from a minority of Celtic fans far too often and will not withdraw the comment.
“The Middle East is a complex issue, but some of the naive extremism from an organized group within Celtic support is damaging and, yes, racist. Part of the reason for the tweet that I later deleted was a stream of hatred in the guise of geopolitical comment. Biton can defend himself, but that he made a Biblical prayer for his friends in the IDF should not have made him a victim of such abuse.”