Anti-Semitism campaigners have criticized prosecutors for dropping hate crime charges against two West Ham fans who were filmed singing insults to an Orthodox Jewish man on an airplane — because they “couldn’t determine” whether it was on that plane. was currently in British airspace.
Videos show several men yelling ‘I have a foreskin, not you, f***ing Jew’ as the man passed them on a Ryanair flight from Stansted to Eindhoven.
Lee Carey, 55, and Jak Bruce, 31, denied a public order offense after they were accused of singing the song, with their lawyers arguing that the English court had no jurisdiction over the incident under the Civil Aviation Act.
The case was adjourned while the Crown Prosecution Service considered the request, before ultimately ruling that there was “insufficient evidence” of the alleged violations taking place in British airspace.
Video showed several men yelling ‘I have a foreskin, don’t you, f***ing jew’ as the man passed them on a Ryanair flight from Stansted to Eindhoven
A spokesperson said: ‘After a careful examination of all available evidence, we concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the alleged violations took place in UK airspace and thus within the jurisdiction of our courts.
“The CPS takes racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism in sport extremely seriously because of the devastating impact it has on victims and wider society.
“If there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest, we will prosecute these cases. We are working with sports authorities and the police to advise them on the evidence needed to build strong cases so that offenders can be brought to justice.”
The news sparked anger at the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, which said it was “incredible” that prosecutors had decided to drop the case.
A spokesman said: ‘This incident was captured on video that went viral, with many witnesses on the plane, including Ryanair cabin crew.
“It is inconceivable that sufficient evidence cannot be gathered to establish jurisdiction and that potential perpetrators are free to go without sanction.
“This is the third time in nearly as many months that the CPS has dropped or reduced charges against suspects of high-profile anti-Semitic hate crimes, and members of the Jewish community are writing to us outraged.”
As a man dressed in religious clothing walks down the aisle, a small crowd of passengers can be heard singing mean songs about the penises of Jewish men
It sparked outrage when it spread on social media in November last year, with West Ham saying it was “appalled” and vowing to ban those responsible.
Some West Ham fans use the sickly chant to refer to Tottenham, one of West Ham’s fiercest rivals and traditionally backed by a large Jewish fan base.
Ian Austin, a life partner in the House of Lords and a former Labor MP, tweeted: ‘Disgusting. That’s not an ‘anti-Tottenham song’, that’s anti-Semitic. The poor man. It’s racist abuse. Why didn’t they get kicked out?’
Jewish writer Michael Dickson added: ‘Disgusting anti-Jewish chanting by a crowd of fans to a Jewish man.
“The club and everyone of good will should condemn this. Kick racism in football and ban these ‘fans’.’