BERLIN – Shall wolves dwell with lambs? Israel received
an unexpected surprise for its 60th birthday
in the form of a new group rooting for its prosperity. The twist? They are neo-Nazis.
On May 15, the Gregorian date in which the State of Israel was established, a group called National Socialists for Israel launched its online manifest.
"A strong nation is worthy of life; an ailing nation deserves death," it said, before detailing an ideology sporting the traditional Nazi concept of purity of the race on the one hand, and calling on National Socialists to let go of their hatred for Jews and support the Jewish people's right to their own homeland on the other.
"Deportations, pogroms and inquisitions were all understandable acts which were carried out by nations merely trying to defend themselves," said the website of past persecution of Jews.
"That is also the context in which the event called the 'Holocaust' must be viewed… This does not justify it. Instead of destroying the Jews we should have taken every measure possible to support the Zionist movement."
The group goes on to harshly criticize the Nazi regime as the cause of the "unnecessary rivalry" between Germany and its "brethren neighbors," and slams the current leaders of Germany's extreme right as "cowardly reactionaries."
"The Jewish people still exist. Their national movement, supported by brave warriors has been able to form a state and expel foreign elements… For 60 year now, an army of young men and women has defended Israel against all foes," said the site.
Further supportive messages called for the Nazi party to "stop spreading anti Semitic lies about a worldwide Jewish plot" and demanded of anti Semites to "show us proof of Jewish domination over Germany and the world."
The website also tells of a gathering which took place on May 25 and included panels on solidarity with Israel, anti Semitism, and how to counter "the growing Islamic presence in Germany and around the world."
The group's public relations department has begun distributing stickers in Berlin depicting Israeli soldiers carrying the Israeli flag with the slogan - "A 2000-year struggle for survival. Respect those who have earned it."
Social experts following Germany's extreme right are skeptical of the new group, with some saying it is the product of a radical Left-wing-led provocation. Others, however, believe it may be a genuine new movement.
"There have always been fringe groups within Nazism that have supported a national home for the Jewish people, but the fact that they have a positive attitude towards Israel does not make them any less anti-Semitic," said Anita Kahana, who heads an foundation in Germany working against extreme right-groups.
"Mostly, they are trying to stir an ideological provocation," she added.
Ilan Mor of the Israeli Embassy in Berlin was appalled to learn of the story.
"We can handle our enemies just fine, but God save us from friends like these," he said, calling the group "absolutely preposterous."