Neo-Nazis Arrested in Israel

And, as if to illustrate the previous post I made about the rise of anti-semitism globally, neo-Nazis have been arrested in Israel, the New York Times is reporting.

Eight young men, ages 16 to 21, were arrested between July 23 and Sept. 6 on charges of attacking “religious Jews, homosexuals, Asians and other foreigners.” All are immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union.

One police official quoted in the story speaks to the incredulity many of us feel at this story when he says: “It’s difficult to believe that Nazi-ideology sympathizers can exist in Israel, but it’s a fact,” Revital Almog, the police official who directed the investigation, told Israel Radio.

Police also reported that these neo-Nazis “had contacts with neo-Nazi groups abroad” but they don’t say how. I think it’s safe to assume that they were in contact via the Internet with these other groups. And, the police also found videos of the youths attacking their victims, which raises some interesting questions about hate crimes and spectatorship. Perhaps the original hate crime (attacking a victim based on identity) is only satisfying for the perpetrators if they can watch themselves enacting this violent display, or, more probably, watch others watching them in this position of power.

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