CELTIC have been urged to issue another ban to The Green Brigade as punishment for their “End Zionism” banner at the Kilmarnock game on Saturday – and warned they risk Jewish supporters turning their backs on the Parkhead club if they fail to take action.

Members of the ultras group were barred from attending the Scottish champions’ matches back in October following “repeated incidents of unacceptable conduct” – offences which included rushing turnstiles, setting off pyrotechnics in the stands and threatening behaviour towards stewards.

The move also came weeks after a banners which read "Free Palestine" and “Victory to the Resistance” were unfurled in the safe-standing section at Celtic Park on the day that Hamas launched terrorist attacks on Israel and murdered over 1,000 innocent civilians and soldiers. 

The Green Brigade were allowed back in to games in December following talks with senior club officials on the understanding they adhered to a new set of guidelines - which included not displaying banners “which could reasonably be considered to be racial, sectarian, political, homophobic or discriminatory”.

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The ultras group have, along with many other Celtic supporters, continued to fly Palestinian flags at matches since their ban was lifted to show their support for the population of Gaza amid the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

Brendan Rodgers revealed on Friday that Israeli internationalist Liel Abada had been left out of his squad for the Scottish Cup tie against St Mirren in Paisley the previous Sunday because of his fragile state of mind and admitted the player could leave as a result of the “tough situation”.

But The Green Brigade unfurled a banner during the 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock at Parkhead on Saturday which included the words “End Zionism” and that angered, disappointed and concerned many Jewish supporters in the 58,887-strong crowd.

The Herald: One Jewish fan, who did not wish to be named, who has been a season ticket holder for 30 years was appalled and has contacted the club to let them know that he will not return unless they take action against the controversial group.  

“I have always known there is a group of Celtic fans who have pro-Palestinian feelings and that is fine with me,” he said.  I don’t find it difficult to reconcile myself with that. I consider myself pro-Palestinian in that I want the occupation to end, I want a Palestinian state and I want peace.

"However, what has happened this season has gone beyond that at times and has created a major conflict between two significant parts of my identity. 

“I don’t want to downplay the events of the last few months, but whatever your political views or your morals, a conflict that has been going on for nearly 80 years is far more complicated than pithy banners at a football match or even characters in a tweet can encapsulate. I think people need to understand that. 

“People may have good intentions, but often it is easy to see the world in black and white once you have accepted your narrative. Everything then becomes straightforward - if you are not with me you are against me.

“The word Zionism means different things to different people. But in the most recent survey, 94 per cent of the Jewish population in the United Kingdom considered themselves to have a connection to Israel and that is, at its core, what Zionism is.

“It doesn’t mean you support the current government, it doesn’t mean you support the military action, it doesn’t mean you support the occupation. It just means you believe in the existence of a Jewish state.

“When banners come out which say ‘End Zionism’, some people may argue it means ‘Stop the killing’ or ‘Stop the fighting’. Those are of course commendable views. But that's not the reality in terms of what the word actually means. If you are calling for the eradication of Israel, then at least be honest about it. How can Liel Abada play football in front of that banner? It is just utterly irreconcilable.

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“You go on Celtic internet forums and see threads which are pages long which ask, ‘Is Liel Abada a Zionist?’. These people clearly don’t understand what they are talking about if they don’t really understand that Liel Abada might be a Zionist. He is a 22-year-old Israeli Jew. What do they think he is? That doesn’t have anything to do with his politics, it is just his national identity.”

The supporter continued: “I was at the Rangers game in December when Liel Abada made his comeback from injury and he got a great reception. But the support is on caveated terms.

The Herald: “Fans like to think they are supporting him and wishing him well and they are in terms of football. But his country is at war and these fans can’t find it within themselves to show empathy for a 22-year-old man whose friends and family are on the front line.

“Maybe they shouldn’t wave the flags of the country that his country is at war with in his face. Universally, we are appalled by what is going on in Ukraine and are all sympathetic to the Ukrainian cause. But if we had a Russian player I don’t think it would be appropriate to wave Ukrainian flags in his face.

“It is not a hobby or a political interest for him (Abada), it is his life. I don’t doubt that a lot of members of the Green Brigade and a lot of other supporters have a really strong interest in the situation. They fundraise and raise awareness of the situation.

“But the vast majority of them go home at night and worry about the pubs in Glasgow, the football, their jobs. It is not their life. But it is his life. I think it is incredibly patronising to tell him that you will support him, but only if you can wave a Palestinian flag in his face and it is his problem if he can’t take that.”

The Celtic fan can appreciate why Abada has felt unable to play in recent weeks and feels a section of the Parkhead support should show the winger greater consideration or risk losing a player who helped them complete a world record eighth domestic treble last season. 

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He continued: “It is in nobody’s interest that Liel Abada isn’t in a fit state to play. Celtic need to protect an asset as well. Liel Abada not being able to play for the club probably means they are not going to make the money on him that they were going to make on him. Selling him to the MLS at a massive loss doesn’t help anybody.

“But I completely understand his position. Who knows what pressure he is getting from the fans? They are supporting him on the pitch, but who knows what messages he is getting? He is just a young boy. And it is his life.”

The supporter believes the Celtic board need to send out a strong message that such banners will not be tolerated by banning The Green Brigade again - and revealed he and many other Jewish fans have informed them they will not return to Parkhead until they do.

“I don’t know what has changed since the first week in December, but it needs to be resolved,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, the terms and conditions by which the Green Brigade were let back in after their appalling banner on October 7 which said ‘Victory to the Resistance’ have been breached by the banner at the weekend. 

“I think they knew what they were doing. They were taunting the Celtic board. At a time when the fans all need to be united behind the team, they are picking a fight. I think they are doing their best to get banned again. Unfortunately, I think the club need to give them what they want. They will probably need to ban them again.

“I am not prepared to give them the benefit of any doubt. The banner on October 7, which was unfurled as people close to my family were being killed and kidnapped, demonstrated that they don't deserve that benefit.

“I don’t know how it gets resolved. But I want to see them banned. I want to see a statement from Celtic saying the banner at the weekend and the banners on October 7 were unacceptable and why they were unacceptable.

“I don’t want it to be twisted into, ‘The Celtic board are prohibiting solidarity with Palestine’. Clearly they are not. I think 99 per cent of the people in the world can show solidarity with Palestine without crossing the line. These people can’t. They are picking a fight, they are deliberately doing it.”

He added: “I have told Celtic that if they don’t take adequate steps to stop what happened on Saturday I won’t be back in future. And I know of dozens of other Jewish Celtic fans who have done the same.

“That is not a big number compared to the Green Brigade. You won’t notice if we aren’t there. But I really don’t think Celtic want to be seen to be a club that Jews don’t feel they can go and support any more.”

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Celtic issued a strongly-worded statement following The Green Brigade display in early October condemning the banners, stressing the Parkhead club was open to all and urging fans to back the team on the park. 

It read: “We condemn the display of such messages at Celtic Park. Celtic is a football club and not a political organisation. One of our core values from inception is to be open to all regardless of race, colour, politics or creed.

"That is why the Club has always made clear that political messages and banners are not welcome at Celtic Park, or any match involving Celtic. At a time of loss and suffering for many, it is entirely inappropriate for any group of individuals to use Celtic Park as a vehicle for such messages.

“We call on all supporters, regardless of their personal views, to unite in backing our players and the club while respecting the rights and beliefs of others; particularly those whose lives are affected by violence and hatred.”

The Herald: The Green Brigade hold up a banner for Palestine during a cinch Premiership match between Celtic