A Liverpool-supporting survivor of the Oct 7 terrorist attack on Israel was ejected from Anfield last week after holding up a banner of a fellow fan held hostage by Hamas.
Elad Poterman brought the banner to the club’s Europa League game against LASK on Thursday last week to highlight the plight of Omri Miran, who was taken captive two months ago, leaving behind his wife and their two small daughters.
Poterman was escorted from his seat after refusing to put away something stewards deemed to have broken the club’s flag and banner policy, which since October includes a ban on anything deemed pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian.
Poterman, who said he spent 17 hours in a safe room with his wife and eight-month-old baby after terrorists broke into his house on Oct 7, told the Jewish Chronicle: “I was told by the stewards that I couldn’t raise the banner because it was a ‘political issue’. So I had the option of giving them the banner and staying in the stadium or taking the banner and leaving the stadium.
“I asked them, ‘What’s political about it? It is just a humanitarian matter’. But they didn’t want to get into a debate about it so I just left. It seemed ridiculous.”
Poterman, from Nahal Oz kibbutz, added: “The case here was simply a case of a Liverpool supporter needing support from fans and the club. Saying that Omri needs to come back to his family is not taking a political stance, it’s just humanity.
“A statement from the club saying, ‘Omri is one of our own, we want him back’, would go a long way, or for the banner to be hung from Anfield until he comes back.”
Claiming the experience had made him reconsider supporting Liverpool, he said: “The entire ethos of the club is ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, but this certainly doesn’t seem to be the case here. They need to remember their own identity. I felt pain and disappointment.”
The club declined to comment.