Jewish associations in Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia plan to file a legal complaint over a deluge of anti-Semitic Twitter messages posted after Maccabi Tel Aviv’s win over Real Madrid in the Euroleague basketball final, the Spanish daily El País reported on Tuesday.
The report cited Jewish organizations as recording nearly 18,000 offensive messages posted after Sunday's match on the social networking site by supporters of the Spanish side who were enraged over the Israeli team’s victory.
Spiteful messages on the micro-blogging platform referring to Hitler and the Nazi treatment of the Jews during the Holocaust prompted the launch of the lawsuit.
“Now I understand hitler [sic] and his hate for the Jews...,” one angry Twitter user said.
“They should all be killed in an oven,” read another post.
Sources from the Jewish community were slated to file a complaint to the Barcelona state attorney on Tuesday, according to the Spanish paper.
“When we saw reactions to Maccabi’s victory, such as ‘Jews to the oven’ or ‘Jews to the showers,’ we decided to lodge this judicial complaint,” Israel in Catalonia group member Ruben Noboa told AFP.
The complaint was due to cite the full names of five identified Twitter users and their posts, which the Jewish groups argue constituted the incitement of anti-Semitism.
“The majority of the remainder of the messages were anonymous,” Jai Anguita, the president of Catalonia’s Bet Shalom Jewish community center, told El País
“We could say that these comments come from the high spirits after a [sporting] defeat, that they are almost jokes… But history has shown us where these jokes can lead,” Anguita said.
At least 12 Jewish associations have joined the lawsuit, launched by the group Israel in Catalonia, according to AFP.