Anti-Semitism Surging in Israel
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Anti-Semitic attacks carried out by Jewish skinheads mainly of Russian origin are on the rise at the heart of Israel, which prides itself of being a safe haven for Jews from all over the world.
"Nowadays it has become a phenomenon," Zalman Gilichenski, the chief of the Dmir Centre, which monitors and assists victims of the anti-Semitic attacks, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Friday, April 20.
"There is a group of several dozens anti-Semites in almost every Israeli city.
"All in all, there are several hundreds neo-Nazis in Israel," added the 40-year-old ultra-Orthodox who had emigrated from Moldova in 1989.
Gilichenski said reports suggested that anti-Semitic attacks were being carried out by Jewish citizens on a daily basis in Israel.
Some 500 anti-Semitic attacks are reported in Israel every year, according to independent estimates.
Russian nationalists who identify with anti-Semitic ideology are believed to be responsible for the vast majority of these attacks.
Israeli authorities decline to provide statistics on anti-Semitic attacks inside Israel.
Israeli police are also reluctant to brand the incidents as anti-Semitic.
Instead, the police use the term vandalism for racist attacks and desecration of graves and synagogues.
"The law does not provide us with the ability to even define an incident in Israel as being of an anti-Semitic character, and they all fall within the general term of vandalism," one justice ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
Jewish Rabbi Avraham Levine was a victim of a brutal anti-Semitic attack when a group of teenage skinheads attacked him while walking home in the city of Petah Tikva on Tel Aviv's outskirts.
"They jumped on me, beat me and cursed my mother in Russian," said Levine, 38, who arrived in Israel from Russia in 1995.
"Then they returned with sticks and beat me up. My arm was broken but only God saved my life.
"They shouted 'Zhids leave Russia!' In Russia, I would hit someone if he said 'zhid.' How can someone do it in Israel?" he said.
"Zhid" is a derogatory term in Russian for a Jew, roughly equivalent to north America's "kike."
In recent years, dozens of Jewish schools and synagogue walls have also been vandalized and sprayed with swastikas and racist slurs in Russia.
In May 2005, the great synagogue of Petah Tikva was vandalized and desecrated with anti-Semitic slurs.
The same month, military police arrested a soldier of Soviet origin who had a Nazi swastika tattooed on his arm and who said he hated Jews.
Shortly afterwards, another soldier was indicted for setting up the first neo-Nazi website in Israel, which included links to the text of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf and a photo of him and two other soldiers performing a Nazi salute in uniform.
Gilichenski accused Israeli authorities of turning a blind eye to the surging anti-Semitic attacks inside Israel.
"Israel is very swift to criticize anti-Semitism abroad but remains silent in the face of anti-Semitism within," he said.
There is no law explicitly banning anti-Semitism in Israel, because such a situation was never imagined by Israeli lawmakers.
As you sow you shall reap, Israel was founded on racism and the stealing of other peoples property. How ironic then that what they inflicted upon innocent Palastinians is now being inflicted upon them by their own people.
The Muslims fight the Israelis not because we are anti-semetic but because our land has been stolen and we want it back. If they return the land back then they are welcome to stay and live amongst us as they did in the past under the Caliphate system.
Islam condemns racism and anti-semitism but does Zionism respect anyone other than Israelis? And what is the difference between Fascism and Zionism?