The "new anti-Semitism" is alive and well - on the terraces at Parkhead.
At their home match to Israeli club Hapoel Be'er Sheva in the Champions League qualifier last week, hundreds of Celtic supporters raised Palestinian flags and chanted support for Palestine. As a result UEFA began disciplinary proceedings against the club, viewing the flag-raising and chanting as political, and therefore in breach of UEFA regulations. The case, with a possible fine of £15,000, is due to be heard in September.
The pro-Palestinian protest was arranged by the Green Brigade, via the Celtic Fans for Palestine Facebook page. The Green Brigade style themselves a "broad front of anti-fascist, anti-racist and anti-sectarian Celtic supporters", who aim to "fuse together Ultra culture with politics in the stands of Celtic Park and beyond". In support of these inspiring ideals they disrupted a match against St Mirren on November 11th 2011, to protest the wearing of poppies, unfurling two banners with the words "Your deeds would shame all the devils in Hell. Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan. No bloodstained poppy on our Hoops". They are also, inevitably, fond of pro-IRA chants, including images of hunger-striker Bobby Sands - which suggests that their commitment to anti-sectarianism may not be entirely serious.
The Facebook page comes complete with a cartoon from Carlos Latuff, who specialises in comparing Israelis to Nazis - a standard trope of the new anti-Semitism - and has won a prize for his efforts at the Iranian Holocaust Cartoon contest.
Their message before the game:
"We will be distributing free Palestine flags to those who will fly them. We will not be pushing them on those who do not want to participate, we respect your choice as fans to simply watch the game and support our team.
"In support of the Palestinians we Celtic fans invoke our democratic rights to display our opposition to Israeli Apartheid, settler - colonialism and countless massacres of the Palestinian people."
From the Jerusalem Post:
Celtic fans have so far raised over £136,000 in two days for Palestinian charities after the club received a disciplinary charge from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). ...
The Celtic group affiliates itself with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which it hails as “inspiring and unstoppable.”
According to the Facebook page which organized the protest, an Israeli soccer team should not be allowed to participate in the soccer competition “due to the system of apartheid laws and practices including religious- and ethnic-based colonization, military occupation and segregation of what remains of Palestinian land and over 90 laws which discriminate against indigenous Palestinians who make up 20 percent of the population of current-day Israel.”
The Guardian has a selection of comments from Celtic supporters - some for, some against.
Despite winning Tuesday night's second leg in Israel 2-0, Hapoel Be'er Sheva, sadly, lost overall 4-5 on aggregate.