(JTA) – Police are reportedly not treating as a hate crime an incident in which two men were caught on video in Vienna stealing another man’s pants and calling him a Jew. The video, which surfaced last week and which seems to have been taken by the unidentified perpetrators, shows a young man being ordered to take off his pants by two men speaking German with a Viennese accent, the Heute news site of Austria reported Sunday. As they run off, one of the men shouts back at the man whose pants were stolen: “It’s that easy with you Jews.”
Journalist Liam Hoare reported on Twitter Monday, Oct. 2, that the Vienna police department told him that it is familiar with the incident and that its working assumption is that the incident is not a hate crime but an altercation between fans of rival soccer teams. Several soccer teams across Europe are associated by their supporters as being Jewish, as is the case with Amsterdam’s Ajax team, Munich’s Bayern and London’s Hotspurs. This sometimes leads to antisemitic chants at soccer stadiums. According to scholars of antisemitism, the phenomenon has seeped into other parts of society not directly connected to sports.
Main Photo: Most of the 8,000 or so Jews left in Austria live in Vienna, shown here in 2018. (Andrew Michael/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)