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Are there two forms of anti-Semitism?

Spurs fans call themselves the 'Yids' because it was a name they adopted in 1936 when Oswald Mosley, leader of Britain's fascist movement, led a march through London's East End, chanting; 'down with the Yids' In order to antagonise their football opponents and arouse more emotion and tension during football matches, the Spurs fans adopted the name 'Yid'. Although the club had many Jewish fans, the club was not known for primarily catering to Jews.

Spurs fans are called Yiddo or Jew - regardless of whether they were Jewish or not. Juergen Klinsmann played for Spurs during the mid-90s. He was usually welcomed into the stadium with: 'Chimm-chimminee, chim-chimminee, chim-chim-churoo, Juergen was a German, but now he's a Jew'. Chelsea have as many Jewish fans as Tottenham but their wind up chants, just like Wet Spam on Sunday, still cross the line 'Hitler's gonna gas 'em again, we can't stop them, the Yids from Tottenham.' The chants are meant to stir up emotions on both sides of the stadium.

For many these chants are seen as intentionally anti-Semitic. For me, if you are going to be that sensitive, take up Chess because a football ground ain't no place for a person who gets offended easily. How do you stop visiting supporters singing anti semitic chants anyway? For the Spurs fans inside WHL it was a battle cry that became a term of endearment - even if a great love for Jews and Judaism was not a fundamental aspect of the Spurs chant the Tottenham fans explain the term Yid in a positive way: 'The term Yids derives from the Jewish support of Tottenham Football Club. Coming from the language Yiddish, it is a slang term for a Jew.

Having had the name Yid thrown at them in a derogatory fashion, the supporters of Spurs adopted it as their unofficial nickname so that it would not have the same effect if other clubs shouted it in an anti-Semitic manner. Therefore, Spurs fans chant 'Yids' and 'Yid Army !' to deflect the racist attacks of other chants. The problem now is that officialdom and political correctness is going to get in the way of the rival banter that we enjoy during a game. The principal does not translate however, when coloured players are involved. Let's face it, if Thierry Henri gets called a Frog no one bats an eyelid but if someone calls him the 'n' word and starts making monkey noises that's when the line has to be drawn.

I don't care if I get called Yid. I am proud of being a member of the Yid Army and if Wet Spam think they can get a rise out of us by giving it the Old Nazi salute, let them, it don't mean anything anymore. Actually, it's like watching your dad dance at a wedding disco, it's pathetic! But what else have Wet Spam got to shout about? In fact Spurs fans are quite chilled about Sunday's insults it seems it's the media and political activists who want to make something of it.

Makes me laugh that the bloke with a Wet Spam season ticket gets a life ban and the pratt who lit the flair just got evicted from the ground. So what do you fellow Yids think then? Were you offended by the Wet Spam last Sunday? Do you care, or, if you don't, should you care or are we going to be made to care if the Society of Black Lawyers have their way.

Written by OyVeh Maria

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The journalist

Writer: OyVeh Maria Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 27 2012

Time: 7:59PM

Your Comments

It's now getting to the point where it is bordering on ridiculous. I have never known someone to be called a racist if they are referring to themselves!! Is it not racist to have a group called Society of Black Lawyers ?
I literally had no idea that the Spurs use of the word 'yid' went back to the 30's... I've always heard that it was a 60's/70's thing. If you wouldn't mind Oyveh I'd love to read where you got that snippet of information, not challenging it just genuinely interested as ive never heard it before! good article btw!
I was educated early on as to why we called ourselves Yids, and I'm sure most of you guys here grew up with lads and lasses from Africa, Asia, India, West Indies etc ... so learned early on that skin colour and religious denomination didn't matter to the real crisis that kids go through (I'm still traumatised about losing my little Batman figure: It sucked just having Robin!) It's just a shame that some people learned to hate others.
As for our situation? I agree. It always made me laugh when opposing fans tried to rile us, because it just made me more proud to sing "Yiddo!" The SBL have got it wrong by issueing their ultimatum without showing any real plan to properly tackle the situation. I also find David Baddiel's involvement to be astonishing, because, as a Chelsea fan, he tolerates a group that TRY to rise us the most. I don't hear him crusading about the wrongs that are blatantly evident on his own doorstep, and I also recall him "blacking" up in a sketch to take the p outta Jason lee (when the prop of a pineapple on his head would have sufficed).
I would be willing to stop chanting if our own Jewish fans asked us to. Until that day, I'm proud of the moniker.
Should we be proud of being called / referring to ourselves as Yids? 100 we should. It's a part of our identity. Can I evenly vaguely accept people making reference to concentration camps and the slaughter of innocents and total brutality - no way, never, this transcends a jibe or a football match, this is abhorrent
Cape Town Spurs
Football often reflects society so issues of race inevitably raises his head in the beautiful game. Racial abuse can and should be openly challenged in the sport however it will continue to be a problem until certain solutions are made in the bigger picture so i won't be holding my breath quite yet. However, such chants lack any class and that would be 1 inditement I could never live with so shame on you Spammers and Lazio!
I still don't understand David Baddiel a Jewish football fan who takes real offense by the Spurs Yid chant yet supports Chelsea!! Chelsea have connections with the national front!! (Ken Bates confirmed this in a recent interview when he explained there used to be - prob still is - an element of Chelsea fans that would stand outside *****eford Bridge and only buy a ticket once the team sheet was announced and no black players were involved). Funny how David Baddiel doesn't mention this isn't it!!!
I have been messaging the SOBL and informed them of my intention to take them to court if they carry on with their actions against us, on the grounds of inciting and or stirring up racial hatred. The premise being that they will stir up hatred specifically for BLACK solicitors because of the way they will have acted and concentrated on one word instead of concentrating on REAL racism. I also accused them of jumping on an already overloaded bandwaggon simply to raise their non existent public profile as well as giving them a potted history of the club and the problems the fans have had since the 30s. Funnily enough i got chatting to a solicitor about this and he told me that this is the general thinking by a lot of other solicitors and they doubt very much whether the SOBL will carry out their threat. Remember they gave a deadline of the 20th this month for Spurs to sort us out and it hasn't happened so I wouldn't worry about those jerks. I am a Spurs supporter until I die and will ALWAYS be a blue and white YID.
wiltshirespur I also have read that it started being used during the 30s to counter Mosley's blackshirts verbally abusing the Jewish populace. I can't remember where I read it but if you like I will hunt it down for you as if it were a nazi dog.
Mr.Spurs Chelsea's firm and some fans are heavily involved with/basically are a group called 'combat 18' ( a neo-nazi group of which information can be found on the wiki page in the link. There are myriad recent stories about them and the firm related to all kinds of abhorrent practices of discrimination against all different types of people. The fact that David Baddiel can call us 'the real problem' and put us on par with them while not speaking out against ****s like these in HIS OWN TEAM is disgusting and insulting to anyone who uses the word yid as a proud spurs fan.
haha thanks chrishove! Hopefully thats exactly how the Italian police are operating inregards to the attacks on spurs fans last week! (I somehow doubt it!)
Combat 18 LOL that bunch of losers are/were also linked with the Provisional IRA.
with all sensitivity and respect, OyVeh – you say that "Spurs fans are called Yiddo or Jew - regardless of whether they were Jewish or not". i think of myself as a human being (and if someone then needs a racial tag then as Irish stock brought up in England). I'm not a Yiddo or Jew on account of supporting Spurs. i've got Jewish friends in the US, UK and Israel, and in truth more (of my Jewish friends) support Man Utd than Spurs. i'm against all forms of racism so i don't make a particular case for Spurs or Jews – I am personally against all racism. in 45 years of supporting spurs, the Yid or Jewish identity (whilst i respect the identity and the religion sincerely for those to whom they have significance) means nothing to me, any more than you’re a paddy and you know about Wolfe Tone. it's not the lens through which i have supported spurs all these years one bit. i put this in as an alternative narrative that maybe some others share, even if for very REAL reasons this particular racism issue is highlighted currently for Spurs, and for some Jewish and some non Jewish fans. i think that to say that we are all Yids and Jews is a little odd. I'm a spurs fan for 45 years. said in peace, for alternative perspective not conflict.
Like I posted the other day, bottom line is the SOBL can't do anything, Spurs won't throw 36,000 fans out of the ground every week, or ban them all for life, so ***** them.
crissybwoy yes thats perfectly true but I don't like the incinuation that if a Spurs fan chants 'yid' then they are as bad as the ACTUAL PROBLEM which are a small amount of fans who are racist or the rest who go along with the chants to goad or ***** off other fans. I think that is libellous and ridiculous and I would like to see Herbert, Baddiel and the SBL apologise for what they have said about a group of fans who are STANDING UP TO RACISM through embracing a Jewish or multicultural identity through the word 'yid'.
The Society of black lawyers make me about we all start a society of White lawyers then? eyebrows will be raised won't they?
Right behind you all the way wiltshire, apparently people with the supposed intelligence to become a lawyer can't distinguish between the two entirely different uses and contexts of the word. I don't pretend to know the answers to the problem, for me there isn't a problem, but then I'm not Jewish and for me words will only ever be words. Levy is Jewish and doesn't publicly appear to have a problem with it, I'll take his apparent silence over the SOBL's noise as it relates to something that's personal to him. Being black is an issue of race, being jewish is an issue of religion, two completely and entirely different things in my book.
If they're so bothered about equality, they should disband and stop putting up barriers between people.
I just read an excellent article from a West Ham supporter
COYS_TSB I've had a good look and read of their web site and even though they call themselves The SOBL they do take non black membership. It is a group for the equality and betterment of blacks within the legal profession. The name I feel is bordering on the racist/ethnic abuse but their aims are ethical within the context of their remit, BUT once they start jumping on bandwaggons to raise their pitiful public profile then it is a different matter. They should keep their noses out of things that don't concern them otherwise it WILL turn round and bite them very hard on le arse. As well as speaking to various lawyers about this I have also talked with my daughter who has a law degree and she agrees with me that if they do carry on with their "crusade" against us, because of my warning to them I WILL be able to take them to court over stirring up and or inciting racial hatred and stand a fair chance of winning.
What the hell is the matter with this world banter is banter end of. When will the meddling do gooders look at the REAL problems and focus on them (stabbings in Rome). 'Sticks and stones' and all that for Gods sake, this is football this banter makes football the enticing, exciting, emotive game it is, the worlds greatest game. No other sport and thats what it is and all it is, would not be the game we all love without tribal rivalry, it goes hand in hand. Take that away and we might as well go and watch bowls! Violence has no place in our beloved sport but winding each other up has, it's what makes the game so tense, so enthralling, so talked about. First fags, then booze, now banter, are we to all become NUN'S before the powers that be are happy, bless me father for I had the sense to have a bit of verbal banter with my neighbours, they gave me as good as I got, but I feel I have sinned and need to be punished or so the press tell me! Do we really need to be told we might have been insulted by some interfearing old sod, cough off, what do you think we are stupid. We call ourselves YIDS are proud of our heritage both Jew and none Jewish now stop trying to fight our battles and crawl back to the headline making school you came from. COME ON YOU YIDS!!
Actually ALL the lawyers I have spoken to agree with my thinking and it is something that a lot of them have thought about as well.
BU66ER 0 - 0.
Paddypower As a Spurs supporter from Belfast I agree entirely with all you say. Spurs for ever
Big Ron
I keep Yid in my name because I want to.It's not that I'm Jewish and its a matter of pride. PS-from Nepal and think I'm the only spurs fan here! :)
sf1 - Spot on, the only thing that needs to be addressed is when BANTER goes too far and becomes violent. Look at all the abuse Gallas or Ade had from Spurs fans, now they are Spurs players the banter is reversed. I think I might start my own group. "Society of anti-Do-Gooders'
Didn't care about the wet ham fans the other day, too busy singing praise for our team as we smashed them 3-1. I love football. Simple. COYS.
Are there two forms of anti-Semitism? - no there is only 1....the clue is anti or against, when Yido's is sung at WHL by Spurs supporters it's not against anything, it's for, it's's all in the context.
I'm not a Jew but I understand the deep offence that community can feel when any reference is made to the Holocaust. Retaining the moniker unfortunately perpetuates such chants from brain dead rival fans and I would prefer we dropped it now. Will that stop the chanting? not in my lifetime I suspect but the relevance will eventually be lost.
Love totty
The likes of West Ham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Millwall have making their disgusting gas chamber noises and "he's only a poor little yido" chants since I was a kid growing up in the 1970's. The first time I heard the the gas chamber impersonation noise came from the old Arsenal North bank stand in the late 70's. I remember thinking whats that noise? and then it clicked! I'm not Jewish, but I have been a Yid ever since that sick moment! YID ARMY!
This stance by the black lawyers against us has re-ignited the problems when teams first started calling us the Y word!! We being able to call ourselves it proudly, watered down the racist way it was originally used!! Are these same legal buffons going to go after every Black RnB star from America that use the N word openly in their songs?? I bet not!!
Top post and excellent background info OyVeh Maria, i remember when we signed Jurgen and things came out about his diving, well so what, one came out about spurs had got him a house, car, etc but are refusing to pay his gas bill, you just laugh it off, you can't change what happened in the past, sad and disgraceful it was, you have to move on. Peter ''a right'' Herbert, clue is in the name with him, keeps jumping on the band wagon ''YID ARMY'' is a chant of ''Identity'' that's all it is, long may it continue, does it cause spurs fans me or anyone else included any Harm or Embarrassment, that's the question?
spu 4 life
SilwalYid from Nepal - no market for a SPURS SHOP then?
spu 4 life
I was in the South Stand on Sunday and felt the sarcastic applause and waving defused the situation adequately. It really didn't both me in the slightest. I was too busy basking in the glory of the wonder goal by Defoe and the overall result / performance. The Chanting of Yid army was most prevalent during the hissing noises and anti-Semitic chants which to me confirms the use of the chant as a defence mechanism and in a positive way. I'm sure many won't see it like that but that is my opinion. You're never going to be able to please all of the people all of the time. COYS.
all this fuss about the word yid is ridiculous! I don't remember a campaign against 'using the n-word' itself!? am I wrong? The civil rights movement and related campaigns were against RACISM ITSLEF! not a word! Why is anti-semitism any different??? Spurs fans, when they use the word, are not being racist, they are standing up to racism and promoting a multicultural identity through said word. I would seriously like to see an apology from Baddiel, Herbert and the SBL for their libellous accusations but that will never ever happen.
In shops this weekend in time for christmas ''Harry Redknapps Three Letter Scrabble Words'' fun for all the family over 1000 words can be found and QPR does not count as a word.
spu 4 life
Describing people as 'coloured'...i stopped reading at this point...#idiot
What that needs to made clear, is that there is no evidence what so ever to prove that Tottenham Hotspur have a bigger Jewish fan base than the likes of Arsenal or West Ham. In fact Arsenal have a very large Jewish following and West Ham United have had by far the biggest Jewish following for the past 100 years because of the huge immigration of Jewish people to the ghettos of the East End of London as far back the late 18th century. By 1914, 90 per cent of all Jews in England would live in the crowded streets and alleys of Whitechapel, Spitalfields and St George's in the East End. So West Ham United, historically speaking, are the club with the biggest links to the Jewish community! The racists who follow West Ham United have created the myth that Tottenham are London's Jewish club when in fact they have by far the biggest Jewish following! Funny that... In the mid 19th century when the local Jewish east end community became more wealthy, they started to move North (to escape the local racism) to areas such Canonbury, Dalston and Stamford Hill, so Arsenal football club also have a much larger local Jewish community and local Jewish following than Tottenham Hotspur!
HA HA HA looking at the papers this morning, the 'Arry love in with the media has kickstarted big time.
spu 4 life Good grief, as many as THREE, you are giving him a lot of credit. LOL
Sorry about brining 'Arry into it but this is a brilliantly funny pee take of Arryspeak. HA HA HA HA ....... .......So maybe not ALL jurno's are fooled by him.
These fans hissing and singing Hitler songs have probably lost family members during the war too. Does that make it ok, No. Unfortunately it is blown way out of proportion as it is banter. Nothing more, nothing less. When you think about it, grown men and women singing songs to wind up the opposition is kind of childish anyway.
Team News Tottenham midfielder Sandro has been passed fit for Wednesday's Premier League game against Liverpool despite being carried off on a stretcher with a stomach injury against West Ham.
There are also 2 sides to the story. Now I'm sure Spurs fans are singing similar tunes to opposition too. I don't think Mr Wenger is actually a **** or all people from Liverpool are gypsies. It's all stupid humour that you either get or don't get.
yiddyboy - Happens all the time thou, Spurs fans calling wenger a pedo at Arsenal games happens. Most teams have a set of loud singing fans that hurl taunts at the other fans. Not everyone of course
Agree SpursOne2, you'll always have a minority in everything we do that spoil it for the majority. Eg: Because a handful of extremists blow up the twin towers and smuggled shoebombs into an airport I now have to take my shoes off when I come back to England.
Praise indeed for our JD from AVB.
Be interesting if a white guy applied for membership or a job at the SOBL. I wonder what tack they would take then. Bet he wouldn't get it. Racists.
Love Totty. No, embracing the Yid title HAD swept it under the carpet until the recent SOBL and Media had brought it out in the open again. It is only recently that visiting fans have seen fit to open up old wounds and the 'cross the line' chants. Chelsea didn't taunt us recently, they only sang their Champions of Europe song. It was since then in the press it has opened up to give visitors a reason to have a go.
COYS R US They are a multi racial group who take on anybody regardless of colour. I've done a lot of research on these idiots. They are heavily connected with groups in the U S as well.
thes sort of taunts are just words selected to solicit and emotional response. Rise to it and the small minded win. Rise above it!
chrishove123, thanks for that... Just seems a strange title then !!! Why not just the Society of Lawyers ???? Weird, but then I suppose the exposure is everything to stir up opinion/controversy. No such thing as bad publicity !!!
I see that Chelski have got away with the Clattenberg case, or rather lack of one. No class club, and so called "Regrettable" word taken as an apology and all swept under the carpet as if it didn't happen. Disgraceful... Not even compensation for defamation of character. Shame on you.
COYS R US No probs mate, I know what you are saying. That's exactly why i decided to check them out, because of their name. As has been stated before I bet if we got together and called ourselves the society of WHITE anything we'd be straight into court on charges of racism because of the name. 
Understood Coysrus, but you have to break the circle or it continues indefinitely. The reason for adopting the name was admirable in it's day but who are we protecting now? As others have said we are no more or less Jewish than our neighbouring clubs. I grew up in 60's Belfast so I know all about sectarianism. Football is tribal enough without added reasons for incitement of violence.
Love totty
Well balanced article imo OyVeh, similar if people sing pro liverpool or manchester songs then "negative" songs are sung back. I'm sure the social economic climate is no joke to many people around liverpool. The Y word originally as far as im aware originated from a German Soldier, its daft imo to then be upset at any negative reference, although i must admit i hate the gas chamber hiss. Unfortunately imo the society of Black Lawyers have trivialised an area which has two sides to. I also agree its going a bit PC gone made. Its a little bit like i can't use the N word as i am a naughty white boy but it can regularly be used in songs and Films if you are categorised as black. its almost as if you have to call comething racist or its not considered offensive
Excellent article OVM, and some really good comments made from our members. Born in North London myself, but I emigrated out to Australia when I was 10, so I never experienced or never really understood the whole 'yid' issue. What I have experienced is that the PL and Spurs are followed throughout the entire world. And not all of these people are ex-pats. Those of you that are based in the UK and are regular season ticket holders are sometimes oblivious to the magnitude of the PL. Imo, rightly or wrongly, the 'yid issue' is a non event for many overseas supporters. Unfortunately, I don't see anything happening in the near future to stop it either. It is just human nature. Why don't we just dampen the acoustics around the 'away' section and enhance the 'home' section. A couple of well placed microphones and subtle amplifiers and we'll just drown out the travelling support. Allright then, 4 hours of sleep and back up to watch the game.
"Coloured"...What idiot describes black people as coloured? I only hope you was being slightly sarcastic with it. Banter is one thing, while Hitler chants and gas chamber noises is not banter and is not acceptable. Also chanting about fans being stabbed is not banter either. This is supposed to 2012 but unfortunately the human race has not evolved from the dark ages...or is that just football? I love the game but I am beginning to find fans and players behaviour fecking appalling and it is finally beginning to grate on me. I don't find Yid army chants offensive as it is taking a stand against the dickheads that think gas chamber noises are hilarious....Like how old are these nobs?! Grown men and Women is how old with one brain cell between them all. I would even draw the line and say football matches are not for families, I would not want to take a kid to listen to that ***** and let them think is is ok cos it is not...It is fecking offensive is what it is. COYS this eve!
We are the YID ARMY, its not anti-semetic and I dont think it offends. Sick chanting about Hitler, Munich or Heysel is totally different. This Political correctness b*llocks is a joke. Society of black lawyers keep shouting their mouth off for cheap publicity - they are racist as they exclude the white man. What the feck is going on. Its a fine line between anti racism and discrimination.

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