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9 Sep, 2007 20:59

Israeli law system stumbles over neo-Nazis

In Israel, eight young men aged ranging from 17 to 20 are to stand trial for alleged attacks on orthodox Jews and foreign workers, and the cruel treatment of animals. The youths are said to belong to a neo-Nazi group that causes much public attention to t

For more than a year Israeli police have been tracking the group. The gang was arrested about a month ago. They report seizing explosives, a pistol and an M16 assault rifle from the men. They also found some footage of brutal assaults, supposedly depicting the group’s deeds.

I’ve been through all circles of German hell and can’t even imagine for a moment that in Israel such a group of people exists. I am more than sure that most of these youths have relatives who somehow suffered during the war.

Solomon Fergerson,
Holocaust survivor

The eight men are reported to have been holding regular meetings for about a year praising Nazi ideology. They allegedly attacked guest workers from Africa and Asia. The police also say the group is responsible for killing hundreds of cats.

“The group committed acts of vandalism in synagogues where they painted the walls with swastikas and wrote the words ‘death to Jews’. It was a group of youths from different republics of the former Soviet Union,” commented Alex Kagalsky, Israeli police spokesperson.

For Israeli journalist, Ilya Polansky, their arrest is a small victory as he has been trying to warn Israeli society for years that such a phenomenon exists in the Jewish State.

The bizarre thing of the case is that the Israeli legal system has no specific laws against Nazism ideology. So the group members are likely to face a milder punishment, then if they were put on trial for instance in Europe.

“The punishment they can get is for vandalism, maybe for some brutality, but definitely not for the Nazi content and symbols,” explained Ilya Polansky, investigative journalist.

All members of the gang are emigrants from former Soviet Union, who have come to Israel thanks to the Law of Return. The law grants automatic Israeli citizenship to any person who has a Jewish grandparent.

Most of the Israeli public is shocked but they understand this phenomenon is marginal and does not represent mainstream Russian immigration. They want the youths to be deported and their citizenships revoked.

Israeli parliamentarians are calling for stricter laws to ensure that such people are prevented from entering the country.