Muslim professional footballers of the German Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt are accused of stirring up sentiment against Israel: “You don’t have to be a Muslim to support Gaza, you just have to be a human being”

Eintracht Frankfurt’s national player with Lebanese roots Amin Younes (27) and defender Almamy Touré from Mali (25) had posted on Instagram after the Hamas rocket attacks against Israel: “You don’t have to be a Muslim to support Gaza, just a human being”.

Dribbler Younes also forwarded posts by other users with critical comments. And the photo of a Palestinian with a flag in Jerusalem’s Old City in front of approaching Israeli soldiers: “May Allah be with you!”

How does this fit in with the Frankfurt football Club, which fights against anti-Semitism and racism?

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) city councillor and Frankfurt mayor Uwe Becker (51, also chairman of the German-Israeli Society, anti-Semitism commissioner of the state of Hesse): “I find it unacceptable that they demonise Israel and completely disregard the fact that terrorism comes from Hamas. Eintracht Frankfurt is one of the most exemplary clubs against anti-Semitism, for Jewish life in Germany. It is all the more important that Eintracht takes the players to task.”

The club meanwhile reacted on its internet site: “After a very positive exchange with the players concerned, there is no doubt about their peaceful disposition.”

Eintracht admitted, however, that the postings had allowed for a misleading interpretation…

Touré liked a post with the request “Pray for Palestine”. And not for Israel?

Younes, who supports aid in Lebanon (his father’s homeland) and has also been a patron of the Gaza aid project in Düsseldorf, says himself: “For me, freedom of religion is of the highest value, and I oppose violence of any kind, regardless of the side. It is terrible to see that so many people, regardless of their faith, are again losing their lives in this conflict.”

Younes continued, “It was a spontaneous expression of opinion with no intention to hurt another religion or people of other faiths.” Well…

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