A former Israeli soldier, who describes himself as “the world’s proudest Jewish Nazi”, has rushed to defend disgraced far-right activist, Tommy Robinson, after the founder of the EDL punched an English football fan to the ground before the team’s match against Netherlands in Portugal last week.
Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, received wide condemnation for the attack, which was captured on video. He can be seen in the footage wearing a camouflage jacket while pursuing an England fan and punching him to the ground.
The video’s publication by Mike Stuchbery, an anti-fascist activist from the UK, attracted the attention of Australian pro-Israel activist Avi Yemini, who returned to Melbourne after serving in the Israeli army. A short video uploaded on social media shows Yemini – who describes him as a “proud Israeli” on his Twitter account – raging against Robinson’s critics.
Stuchbery revealed that Yemini also launched a campaign across social media, leading to a torrent of abuse and death threats by people associated with the pro-Israeli activist.
So a couple of days ago, I posted a video of 'Tommy Robinson' punching someone at the football.
Consequently his associate, Avi Yemini launched a campaign across social media, leading to a torrent of this kind of stuff.
I think that merits a closer look at this bloke. /1 pic.twitter.com/n8yQ4uyYNj
— Mike Stuchbery 💀🍷 (@MikeStuchbery_) June 11, 2019
A profile of Yemini complied by Stuchbery in a Twitter thread shows that the former Israeli soldier “returned to Melbourne and opened a couple of gyms before taking up his activism full time – primarily aimed at Muslims, but also taking up other Far Right causes.”
The thread includes an article published by Jews Against Fascism on Australian Jewish Democratic Society, which uncovers Yemini’s links to neo-Nazi groups. The former Israeli soldier is said to have consorted with some of the most extreme groups on seven occasions.
In April, Yemini was refused entry to the US after he was interrogated by authorities amid fears his presence in the country would incite violence. His use of social media to spread anti-Islam sentiments was cited as an example of his extremism and radicalisation.
Despite his track record Yemini is still permitted to enter the UK and attend pro Robinson rallies. In July the pro-Israeli activists was captured on video giving a frenzied speech at a rally where supporters of Robinson protested against his arrest. “No matter what the left call us, I am the world’s proudest Jewish Nazi,” he roared to a cheering crowd. “Tommy is my brother, Tommy is my leader,” he shouted.
Despite the condemnation of Yemini by progressive Jews, his brand of pro-Israeli activism is being promoted by a growing trend within in the far-right, which seeks to replicate Israel’s political model rooted in ethno-nationalism and anti-Islam. The drift has accelerated in recent years and we are beginning to see what analysts say is an “unholy alliance between Israel and alt-right ideologues”.