A star pupil at a military boarding school in Israel shocked peers and educators when he published videos on the web of himself performing and teaching Nazi salutes in an IDF uniform.
The cadet was an outstanding senior at the Beit Biram High School, a branch of the renowned Reali High School in Haifa whose alumni include an impressive number of former generals, defense ministers and IDF chiefs of staff.
In the first video, the cadet is filmed by himself, in full military uniform, goose-stepping to the Nazi anthem. In a second video, he is joined by a friend, also in uniform. A third video shows him teaching his eight-year-old sister to perform a Nazi salute, in response to the girl's request to watch a children's film.
Under the third video, the student wrote the caption: 'In this clip, I'm teaching my sister important life lessons.'
The videos grew in popularity on Youtube, where they were posted. The student eventually removed them,
following harsh reactions from his friends.
'This is an outrage'
Teachers and administrators at the school were shocked by the incident. "We're talking about an excellent student, with top grades, who is serious about his studies and invests a lot of effort," said one teacher. "He did something really stupid and he concedes this and is sorry."
"I'd heard rumors that such things went on in the dorm rooms, but I didn't know it really happened. I'm in shock… It's disgusting. Such people don't deserve to wear uniforms, or be alumni of the boarding school and the Reali… A red line has been crossed," said a former instructor.
"It's appalling," said a student at the school Monday. "We're meant to be the commanders of the next generation. Students who are meant to be preserving the highest level of ethics are doing the Nazi salute. There are students who dress up as Nazi officers as a joke… It's shameful that this is the way that future commanders are being educated."
"This is an outrage," added another student. "Students talk about throwing 'parties' to music of the Third Reich. It's not a surprise that neo-Nazi behavior is uncovered," he added, referring to the recent arrest of a neo-Nazi cell in Petah Tikva and several unsolved incidents of vandalism with swastika graffiti around Israel.
The cadet, who expressed regret at his behavior, will be called in for an internal hearing on Tuesday. The Reali School's principal, Ron Kitrey, had no comment on the incident, which the IDF Spokesperson's Office attributed to the late hour of Yedioth Ahronoth's request for a reaction.