Jews too can be great anti-Semites. History proves that. (Not the same as Larry David whistling Wagner.) Still, this article today in Haaretz, sent to me by Paul in Barcelona, is surprising and most certainly unsettling.
The Interior Ministry said Sunday that it would consider revoking the citizenship of eight teens suspected of running a neo-Nazi cell in Petah Tikva, if they are convicted.
The suspects, aged 17 to 19, confessed to assaulting dozens of people, mainly foreign workers around Tel Aviv’s central bus station and Carmel market, causing many of them serious injury. The eight were arrested a month ago, and a gag order on the arrest was lifted Saturday.
According to police, the neo-Nazi cell comprised individuals who have distant ties to Judaism and nonetheless immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union under the Law of Return, which grants all Jews the right to immigrate.
Government officials from the prime minister on down sound really concerned in the article that Israelis will look suspiciously at all youths from the 1990s wave of former Soviet emigration.
Superintendent Revital Almog, who was in charge of the investigation, said that the police learned that a “neo-Nazi cell was being operated in Israel by people living in Israel but believing in Nazi ideology and in Hitler.”
“We discovered that besides their meetings, at which they praised Nazi ideology, they used to go out to Tel Aviv in a group to perpetrate racist attacks,” Almog continued.
Almog said that the teens would deliberately select victims who they deemed too weak to complain. Most of them were foreign workers who the teenagers would attack, telling them that because they were not white, they would be harmed.
One video shows some of the teens surrounding a young Russian heroin addict, who admits he is Jewish. Later they order him to get down on his knees and beg forgiveness from the Russian people for being Jewish and a junky. They beat him mercilessly, along with another man who comes to his aid.
The group was also reportedly planning to celebrate Hitler’s birthday at Yad Vashem.
Everyone knows there are problems with Israel’s Law of Return, which ensures that anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent can immigrate and obtain citizenship. But will a story like this be enough to incite change?