Report on the emergence of neo-Nazi groups in Israel

 

   Submitted by Novoselsky Valery
for "UNITED against Intolerance" Conference, 10-15 April 2007, Madrid

 

   The radical right wing not only takes certain social stratas in the European continent and South America, but even in neighboring “non-white” countries as well. There was some surprise when in Moscow in the beginning of 90-s a small emerging group of young Russian neo-Nazis created a link with a tiny group of “white” Arab students (resembling Nordic Europeans) under the slogans of racial unity of whites and fight against global Zionism. Much more surprised occurred when at the end of 90-s civil society of Israel faced the facts of both, obvious and latent, anti-Semitism among Russian-speaking immigrants.

 

   As for right-wing extremism, then it is indeed still exist. With the fall of a country that represented the ideology of Nazism in 1945, the ideology itself was not defeated, as well as it’s further ideological and structural development in Europe and other parts of the world.

 

   Going back to history: there was an analog with existing Russian neo-Nazi groups when the part of ethnic Germans living in Palestine in 30-s created so called “national-socialist party of Palestine”, which officially existed till September 1939, boycotted Jewish businesses and praised Arab riots against British mandate and Jewish population. Even so, nowadays the situation is not the same, the tendency is similar.

 

   Racist groups in Israel recruit their members among the youth, usually with no or very little Jewish background. The manifestations of anti-Semitism are increasing in Israel in not lesser proportion then in EU. And they are expressed in the following ways: swastikas painted onto synagogues, desecration of headstones, personal insults and comments with “double meaning” in person and in public. They are organized in informal groups, but there was the attempt to launch a broad-scale net, so called “White Unity of Israel”, which was dissolved by the government.

 

 

However, the officially registered NGO with maverick leader, www.homeru.com, which exercises sophisticated, latent and semi-latent anti-Semitic overtones (along with other anti-minority) is striving and continues to exist and be active among the organizations of Russian diasporas. The web site of this NGO (www.homeru.com) is more and more resembling notorious www.jewwatch.com.

 

 

   Prohibited propaganda is encouraged by Internet, lack of censorship, lack of decent anti-racist education. The objects for their hate are: orthodox Jews, representatives of Sephardic communities, Arabs, to a lesser extent the members of sexual minorities. It is not a problem to buy in some local bookstores Nazi-kind audio-, CD, DVD with concerts and books, such as Mein Kampf or Protocols of the elders of Zion. They do not yet held the marches, but already desecrate the synagogues and occasionally beat the ones who happen to be an “easy target”.

 

 

 

Forms of neo-Nazi activities in Israel: desecration of Jewish religious sites, some physical violence, web media, two local sympathetic NGOs, “intellectual” indoctrination.

 

 

 

Transnational activities: in person and virtual link with Russian neo-Nazis, with western ones (at least, via Internet). There were two attempts of neo-Nazi band groups (one from Austria and another from Russia) to pay a visit to their admirers in Israel several years ago. Both tours were not allowed due to intervention of Knesset members and the Ministry of Interior.

 

 

 

Their strategy:

 

-         location of like-minded and “racially similar” individuals,

-         spreading the hateful propaganda during the leisure and sports,

-         attacking the “easy targets”, usually in Sephardic neighborhoods,

-         Joining Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in order to learn the military techniques and combat Muslim Arabs whom they also hate (!)

 

 

   Civil society in Israel has to insist on elaboration of specific “Law against anti-Semitism” similar to the one, which exists in Germany, and previously drafted in local judicial normative in the beginning of 1970-s. And it can be done, at least, on the basis of specific regulation of British authorities on disablement of “National-socialist party of Palestine” in 1939, since certain norms of a British Law are still applied by Israeli legislation.

 

   The youth with such ideological tendencies should be approached by youth organizations, which take care about the ones like them – the children of immigrants, and do not demand the conversion into Judaism as the way to integrate to Israeli society. There should be educational activities to explain to this youth the truth about the ideology of Nazism and its danger and to raise the public awareness on the issue. It is vitally important to educate on the tolerance toward people from a different ethnic, religious and racial background, because intolerance is the main reason, which caused the emergence of radical right tendencies among the youth in Israel.

 

   Sources:

 

Israelis blame Russians for anti-Semitism. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3363907,00.html

 

Israelis run anti-Jewish Web sites. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/829716.html

 

NGO finds local media, politicians apathetic to anti-Semitism at home - 'Who cares about neo-Nazis in Israel?' http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/831837.html

 

The Israeli Information and Assistance Center for the Victims of Anti-Semitism. http://pogrom.org.il

 

Russian National Center in Israel (much more then nationalistic)

http://www.rusnatcentre.tk


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