JEWISH leaders have condemned an internet prankster who released a viral video in which he teaches his girlfriend's dog to Sieg Heil and react to the phrase "gas the Jews".

The short clip, recorded by Markus Meechan from Coatbridge, has attracted almost one million views on Youtube and has been shared widely on social media after it was released just over a week ago.

The video shows Mr Meechan, who goes by the online moniker 'Count Dankula', teaching a pug-breed dog named Buddha to respond to the anti-semitic phrase and to raise its paw in an imitation Nazi salute when it hears the words 'Sieg heil'.

He also films it watching speeches made by Hitler on a TV screen.

The 1 minute 30-second clip is titled 'M8 Yer Dugs a Nazi'.

At the end, the former security guard insists that he is a not a racist, but is only trying to play a joke on his girlfriend to "p*** her off".

So far it has been watched more than 750,000 times and was featured on the front page of the popular content-sharing website Reddit, as well as on other sites around the internet.

But the clip has raised concerns about casual anti-semitism in Scottish society and prompting a leading Jewish group to call for a zero approach to online material which targets Jews or makes light of the holocaust.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities said: "Antisemitism is not something that can in any degree be regarded as a joke.

"It is a form of racism which needs to be condemned just as we would any other form of racism, just as we would condemn Islamophobia or anti-African racism."

And the council's director Ephraim Borowski challenged Mr Meechan's suggestion that he was not a racist.

He said: "To regard the meticulously planned and industrialised murder of six million people solely on the grounds of their ethnicity as a joke is outrageous, and for someone who does so to claim not to be racist, beggars belief.”

Many viewers have accepted the video as a joke but others were quick to take offence, with one saying: "Maybe one day this guy and those who find this humorous will experience something as terrifying as that which happened to the Jews and learn what is and isn't cause for humor."

The Community Security Trust, a charity monitoring anti-Semitism in the UK, recorded 1,168 incidents in 2014, up from 535 the previous year.

In Scotland there were 31 attacks in 2014, up from 14 the previous year.

The row is not the first time a Scot has come in for broadcasting jokes with an anti-semitic theme. Comedian Frankie Boyle was rebuked by the BBC Trust's editorial standards committee, which issued an apology over a joke he made comparing Palestine with a cake being "punched to pieces by a very angry Jew".

Boyle made the remark on Radio 4 comedy sketch show Political Animal, broadcast in June 2008.

Nazi imagery also remains a sensitive topic more than 70 years after the end of World War II. Prince Harry was forced to apologise in 2005 after he was pictured wearing a swastika armband to a friend's fancy dress party.

Clarence House issued a statement in response to a photograph published on the front page of the Sun newspaper under the headline, "Harry the Nazi".

Last year a campaign was launched to counter anti-Israeli hostility in Scotland, amid growing concern about the activities of pro-Palestine groups, especially during the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe, where Israeli-funded productions have been disrupted.