September 10, 2007

Israeli neo-Nazi ring caught after attacks on synagogues

Police in Israel have uncovered a neo-Nazi ring which was responsible for vandalising synagogues and carrying out attacks on Jews and foreign workers in Israel, a court was told yesterday.

The group of eight Russian immigrants aged between 18 and 21 appeared in court following an 18-month investigation into attacks on two synagogues in which swastikas were painted on the walls of the buildings. The men covered their heads with their shirts during the hearing, revealing arms tattooed with Nazi imagery.

More than a million people from the former Soviet Union have emigrated to Israel, which has a population of seven million, since 1990, taking advantage of Israel's Law of Return which allows anyone to claim citizenship if they have a Jewish grandparent. Many of the new immigrants have little connection to Judaism and emigrated for economic reasons.

Many Russians live in large communities in Israel's cities in which they have little interaction with other Israelis.

They have their own supermarkets where pork is available, unlike in the majority of stores. Russians feel they are victims of discrimination in Israel and many are denied the right to marry by the Jewish authorities. Police named the leader of the neo-Nazi gang as Eli Boanitov, 19, from Petah Tikvah, a city next to Tel Aviv.

Boanitov, who was known as "Eli the Nazi", told police: "I won't ever give up. I was a Nazi and I will stay a Nazi, until we kill them all I will not rest." In one conversation recorded by the police, Boanitov tells one of his fellow gang members: "My grandfather was a half-Jewboy. I will not have children so that this trash will not be born with even a tiny per cent of Jewboy blood."

During the investigation, police seized video recordings of the suspects attacking foreign workers. One of the videos shows the gang members attacking a Russian drug addict, striking him until he bled and forcing him to ask forgiveness of the Russian people for being a Jewish drug addict.

The search also revealed photographs of the suspects wearing Nazi clothing, using the Nazi salute and calling for the burning of Jews. Explosive materials were found in the home of one of the suspects.

Police also found recordings of conversations between gang members, in one they planned how to celebrate the F├╝hrer's birthday, and in another they planned a Nazi ceremony at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.

The Anti Defamation League, a New York-based group that fights anti-Semitism, praised the arrest of the neo-Nazis but warned Israelis not to stigmatise the whole Russian community for the actions of a few members.

"The suspicion that immigrants to Israel could have been acting in praise of Nazis and Hitler is anathema to the Jewish state and is to be repelled," the organisation said in a statement. "Members of the group were reportedly from the former Soviet Union and were religiously identified as Christians.

"They were allowed to immigrate to Israel on the basis of law of return which grants even grandchildren of Jews sanctuary in the Jewish state.

"The tragic irony in this is that they would have been chosen for annihilation by the Nazis they strive to emulate." The ADL said that the phenomenon appeared to be marginal and was more a reaction to anti-Russian discrimination in Israel.

Israeli politicians reacted with anger to the revelations and proposed several changes in the law to prevent a repeat of neo-Nazi actions. Effi Eitam of the National Religious Party said he would propose a bill in the Knesset that would restrict the rights of non-Jews to emigrate to Israel.

Ahmed Tibi, an Arab Israeli member of the Knesset, said that the case illustrated the absurdity of Israeli laws which give extensive rights to newcomers from Russia while denying them to Arab residents who had lived in the region for generations.

Guardian

5 comments:

Online One State Bibliography Project said...

I think it is funny how the media and government is acting like this is some utterly unique singular event. Remember a few years ago when the "White Israeli Union" neo-Nazi group had its website taken down? With all the video of the neo-Nazis - giving the Hitler salute in their full IDF uniforms - talking about how to kill the Arabs for practice and how not to act like a "zhid"? Or then there were the skinhead gangs stormtrooping through Tel Aviv a few years ago too. Anyone who follows the "The Israeli Information and Assistance Center for the Victims of Anti-Semitism" ( http://pogrom.org.il/ ) which monitors neo-Nazis in Israel regularly knows this most recent event isn't particularly unique. The problem is that the government and police "turn a blind eye" to Israeli neo-Nazis which gives them freedom to expand. Rest assured this cell isn't all of them.

Here we have another aspect of Israel's demographic crisis. In the rush to import olim whose only real criteria is they are not Arab or Muslim it can't come as any surprise that that managed to import traditional Russian anti-Semites too. Most of these kids are Russians who were brought to Israel by their parents against their will, they don't want to be Israeli and never did. HOWEVER, in the end, if Israel had not imported the million plus Russians - many, or even most, of them non-Jewish - then the non-Arab population between the river and the sea would already be a definite minority to the Arab population. There just aren't enough legitimate Jews to maintain the current "Greater Israel," thus the floods of non-Jewish olim, the mass conversions of Ethiopians, Indians, and Peruvian Indians, and so on. These measures - the desperation for any non-Arab/Muslim immigrants - undermines the "Jewish character" of Israel just as surely as any compromise with the native Palestinians would.

Anonymous said...

"Native" Palestinians?

They have no language and no historical artifacts.

They are as bankrupt as the Israelis, but at least Israel is a democracy.

Talking of (possible) Jewish neo-Nazis, is Arthur still getting a bit of Collett loving?

Anonymous said...

"Native" Palestinians?"

....Yep just about as 'Native' as the Russians moving to Israel. Funny how most of the leading lights in the PLO and Hamas are Egyptians or Syrians isn't it?

This is partly what causes the problem. Both left, right and centrists have a selective ignorance to the history of the region.

Anonymous said...

"Native Palestinians.."

Wooohooo!

Sensitive are we?

The point being made by the first comment could just as well have been made if the word 'native' was omitted.

The point was that the jewish nature of Israel would be undermined....either by such immigration or by compromise with
the Palestinians...or Arabs...or anyone else that happens to be living there and is not jewish.

The second comment ignores this serious point and ends with a squalid, obscene question with no relevance at all except as a window into the mind of the person making the comment.

Pathetic!

Whether or not it is a good or bad thing that the jewish nature of Israel is undermined is open to discussion.

I would have thought that such a developement has far reaching consequences that are far more interesting that squalid and irrelevant gossip.

Anonymous said...

"Israeli neo-Nazis"? Are you sure this isn't just a deleted scene from "The Life of Brian"?