Police to probe Ben-Shushan on racism charges

J'lem DA orders police to investigate Betar striker after Channel 2 shows a clip of him singing a racist song in front of thousands of fans.

amit ben-shushan 88 (photo credit: )
amit ben-shushan 88
(photo credit: )
The Jerusalem District Attorney on Monday ordered police to investigate Betar Jerusalem striker player Amit Ben-Shushan on suspicion of incitement to racism after Channel 2 television news showed a clip of him singing a racist song in front of thousands of club fans. The incident took place in Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium after Betar won the State Cup final last Tuesday. The words included, "I hate you Salim Toama, I hate all the Arabs," part of a popular chant sung by Beitar fans. Soon after the Attorney's plans were announced, Betar Jerusalem released a statement from Ben-Shushan stressing that he had telephoned Toama to apologize the day after the incident occured and that both players have put the incident behind them. "I would like to reiterate my apology to anybody who might have been hurt by my words," Ben-Shushan said in a public apology. "In the heat of the moment I started singing the song without noticing its words. When the media picked up the story I was immediately sorry and called Salim Toama, my Israel [national team] teammate, to apologize to him. Salim accepted my apology and I was relieved." However, the DA's office said in its statement that the incident constituted a criminal act as Ben-Shushan had been singing in front of thousands of supporters and the images were carried on television. Allon Sinai contributed to this report.