Patrol 36 was an Israeli neo-Nazi organization, consisting of 8 teenagers, led by Erik Bonite, alias "Ely the Nazi". The group's members were Russian immigrants aged 16 to 21. According to The Daily Telegraph, the men's families were allowed to settle in Israel under the Law of Return, meaning that they all had at least one grandparent with a Jewish mother, although none of them practiced the religion.
The group desecrated buildings, especially synagogues, with swastikas and graffiti, and carried out attacks on migrant workers from Africa and Asia, drug addicts, gays, Ultra-Orthodox Jews, and elderly people. Patrol 36's members reportedly had tattoos with the number 88 (a reference to the phrase "Heil Hitler") and were stockpiling guns, TNT, knives and portraits of Adolf Hitler. The group produced videos of their own attacks, which were found on computers seized by police.   One of the group's members, Ivan Kuzmin, said that in "Russia they called me Dirty Jew, and here they called me Stinking Russian". He said that the racism he experienced turned him into a racist.
Bonite was once recorded telling a gang member "my grandfather was a half-Jewboy. I will not have children so that this trash will not be born with even a tiny per cent of Jewboy blood." The cell was based in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv, where they all lived.
Israeli Police began investigating the group in 2006, after two incidents of Neo-Nazi graffiti in Petah Tikva. On September 9, 2007, seven of the group's members were arrested, while the leader, Erik Bonite, fled the country. Police also seized computers depicting videos of their attacks that they had filmed, Neo-Nazi related materials, such as swastika posters and Neo-Nazi films, along with explosives and an improvised pistol. They were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, assault, racial incitement, and distribution of racist materials, and tried in the Tel Aviv District Court. All eight were found guilty, and received sentences ranging between one and seven years in prison. While reading the verdict, Judge Tsvi Gurfinkel said that he was imposing severe penalties to deter anyone else from following their example. Erik Bonite received a seven-year prison term in absentia. In January 2011, he returned to Israel, and was arrested at the airport.
Their discovery led to renewed calls amongst politicians to amend the Law of Return. Effi Eitam of the National Religious Party and the National Union, which represent the religious Zionist movement and have previously attempted to advance bills to amend the Law of Return, stated that Israel has become "a haven for people who hate Israel, hate Jews, and exploit the Law of Return to act on this hatred."
Judge Tsvi Gurfinkel, who issued the guilty verdict [clarification needed], said that "the fact that they are Jews from the ex-Soviet Union and that they had sympathised with individuals who believed in racist theories is terrible." BBC reported that the news of the attacks and of the men's arrests in 2007 "shocked the nation" because Israel was founded in the wake of the Holocaust. One of the members who was arrested and sentenced was the grandson of a Holocaust survivor.
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