police break up israeli neo-nazi ring

police break up israeli neo-nazi ringfrom ap: Police said Sunday they have broken up a cell of young Israeli neo-Nazis accused of a string of brutal racist and anti-Semitic attacks, videos of which were played on television to a stunned national audience.

The eight suspects, all immigrants from the former Soviet Union in their late teens or early 20s, are seen in the videos kicking victims on the ground to a bloody pulp, hitting a man over the head with an empty beer bottle and proclaiming their allegiance to Adolf Hitler with a Nazi salute...

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who viewed the footage with his ministers at the weekly Cabinet meeting, called it "violence for the sake of violence."

"I am sure that there is not a person in Israel who can remain indifferent to these scenes, which indicate that we too as a society have failed in the education of these youths," he said...

All eight had loose connections to Jewish heritage. They did not identify themselves as Jews and their families had come to Israel to escape hardships in the former Soviet Union, police said.

Under the Israeli "law of return," a person can claim automatic citizenship if a parent or grandparent has Jewish roots. Authorities say that formula allowed many Soviets with questionable ties to Judaism to immigrate here after the Soviet Union disintegrated...

Ironically, Israel doesn't specifically have a hate crimes law, and the case has also drawn calls for new legislation.

The arrests drew condemnations from the Anti-Defamation League, a U.S.-based group that fights anti-Semitism, and Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

"The tragic irony in this is that they would have been chosen for annihilation by the Nazis they strive to emulate," the ADL said.