Whilst, to a large degree, racism within the game of football may have almost disappeared in most of Western Europe, the same cannot be said when you travel further east. Hatred and intolerance is almost endemic in many clubs, which only mirrors the culture within wider society. Israel is a country with many problems, not least the views of many Israeli people themselves. Forever Pure is an eye-opening glimpse into how widespread extremism is within the country.
Beitar Jerusalem F.C have a rabidly loyal fanbase. This includes La Familia, the most right-wing and ardent faction of their support. Known as the people’s club, since Russian Billionaire owner Arcadi Gaydamak took over in 2005, they’ve become one of the major player in Israeli football. However, despite this, they’re the only club in the Israeli topflight to have never signed a Muslim player. When they return from a European game with two, the fans are no amused.
Forever Pure is a well-made expose of a misguided attempt to change the mindset of Beitar Jerusalem supporters. Whilst it’s repugnant that their ‘ultras’ have such vile views, it’s beyond belief that the vast majority would back them. Maya Zinshtein’s documentary is as eye-opening as it is depressing. Israel is a horrible country. Forever Pure shows just how far the racism is entrenched in wider Israeli society. The fact Beitar Jerusalem still exist speaks volumes.
Forever Pure is released on demand by Dogwoof on Monday 7 August.