To: Jewish Communal Leadership
From: Mark J. Freiman, President, Canadian Jewish Congress
Date: 11 January 2011
Re: The English Defense League
As you may be aware, tonight at the Toronto Zionist Centre, the Jewish Defense League (JDL) will be hosting representatives of the English Defense League (EDL), via satellite hookup.
The EDL is a radical, nativist political organization formed in Great Britain and is best known for its attacks on the British Muslim community. While Britain faces a particularly serious Islamic fundamentalist threat, the EDL makes no meaningful distinction between radicals and other Muslims. Moreover, the EDL includes in its ranks English football hooligan gangs, racists and street thugs. The head of the EDL, who goes by the nom-de-guerre of Tommy Robinson, has publicly stated of EDL demonstrations that, “it’s naïve to guarantee no violence” and some of its members have waved Israeli flags at their street rallies. A wide coalition of British Jewish groups have warned against this phenomenon, indicating that it is a tactic aimed at furthering the EDL’s anti-Islamic agenda rather than a meaningful expression of support for Israel and its liberal democratic values.
The most important Jewish security service in Europe is the Community Security Trust (CST). The CST has described the EDL and its approach as follows, “this is the politics of hatred and division, which has nothing positive to offer any part of society. The fact that Muslims are the current target simply means that it is Muslims who should be the recipients of anti-racist solidarity. Nor should anybody be distracted by the bizarre sight of EDL demonstrators waving Israeli flags. They are no friends of the Jewish community, or of Israel.”
The CST is not alone in opposing the EDL. Among the other British individuals and organizations who have expressed their opposition are:
· The Board of Deputies of British Jews
· The Britain-Israel Parliamentary Group
· The Holocaust Educational Trust
· Lord Janner of Braunstone
· Lord Levy
· Union of Jewish students
· Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland
The Embassy of Israel in the United Kingdom has also dissociated itself from the EDL here after the EDL announced an ostensibly supportive rally to be held outside the Israeli Embassy in London.
Other than the JDL, Canadian Jewish Congress is the only Jewish organization that has spoken publicly on this matter. The National Post has covered our views here, the Toronto Star has covered our views here and the media are asking for further statements.
We will continue to keep you informed of this matter as appropriate.
“Defending the English Defense League“ – by David Soloway
The EDL, or English Defense League, which vigorously opposes the advance of Islam into the cultural nexus of Western democracies, finds itself on the receiving end of the customary hysteria that greets every such attempt to defend a way of life we have too long taken for granted. Originating in the city of Luton in England, where a substantial, radicalized Muslim population has been linked to various terror plots and fomented demonstrations against British troops returning from Iraq, the EDL has taken its premonitory message to Europe and North America. A rally was held on January 11, 2011 in Toronto, hosted by the Jewish Defense League (JDL). Predictably, it was met by “pacifist” protesters, associated with several anti-Zionist and ostensibly anti-racist groups, chanting such peaceable slogans as “EDL—go to Hell” and “Smash, Smash, Smash EDL”—and, yes, initiating pockets of violence requiring police intervention. So it goes.
Although defamed as a “neo-fascist organization” responsible for targeting “all Muslim people simply for being who they are,” nothing could be further from the case. The EDL warns of a dark and troubling future in which Shari’a courts become part of Western legal systems, no-go zones spread through our cities, and Islamic violence increasingly becomes a norm of daily life. In effect, the EDL sees Luton as the potential face of 21rst century Europe and a harbinger of the destabilization of Canada and the United States. This is a message that does not sit well with militant left-wing organizations, such as Unite Against Fascism in the U.K., so-called Human Rights groups such as the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and the ridiculously named Queers Against Israeli Apartheid in Canada, and even the TSA in the U.S.
In defiance of the luridly obvious, no reference is made to the pro-Islamic slant of the campaign to discredit the EDL’s judicious sounding of the alarm. The EDL, as we have seen, has been castigated as “part of an alarming rise in fascist, racist and neo-Nazi organizing in Europe” which targets Muslims and immigrants. It is denounced for street rumbles, for sponsoring hate fests against Muslims and for lighting the fires of social unrest. The evidence to the contrary is considered inadmissible.
For the truth is very much the antithesis of the largely unsubstantiated claims and accusations being hurled against the League. The truth, as J. Hand points out in a recent article on the subject, is that “corrupt EU governments and politicians” have become advocates for Islam, that “Marxists in the mainstream press…continually whitewash the truth about Islamic Fascism,” as do academics in our universities, and that “roving gangs of Islamic thugs are wreaking havoc…in every EU country.” And indeed, the street clashes laid at the door of the EDL, as Hand indicates, are generally ignited by leftists and Islamists attacking EDL demonstrators, often with the complicity of the police who “turn a blind eye” to what is actually taking place—a frequent occurrence in Britain. There can be little doubt that the agencies of political correctness have given these disruptive elements a free pass.
As the EDL’s leader Tommy Robinson told the BBC on November 19, 2010, “the root cause of the problem is the Koran, it’s Islam…We’re not creating these divisions and this extremism. It’s already there…If there was no militant Islam there would be no EDL.” To dismiss Robinson as merely uninformed or as nothing but a professional rabble-rouser is an act of pure ignorance or cowardly disingenuousness. His argument is borne out by many of our most reputable and erudite students of Islam and jihad, such as Ibn Warraq, Bruce Bawer, Andrew Bostom, Robert Spencer, Christopher Caldwell, Walter Laqueur, Melanie Phillips, Phyllis Chesler, Bat Ye’or, Roger Scruton, Claire Berlinski, Mary Habek, Jamie Glazov, Oriana Fallaci, Howard Rotberg, Wafa Sultan, Lee Harris, Rachel Ehrenfeld, Salim Mansur, Andrew McCarthy, Ayann Hirsi Ali, Steven Emerson, Brigitte Gabriel, whose books form part of a growing bibliography. Tommy Robinson is in good company. His detractors are not.
Curiously, Jewish organizations tend to present an anomalous state of ideological affairs. The Jewish Defense League, as noted, has partnered with the EDL, an act of solidarity that testifies to its acumen and courage. For that it is to be commended. Canada’s largest Jewish organization, The Canadian Jewish Congress, however, has once again revealed its depressing lack of foresight and its unwillingness to see the world for what it is, a classic Jewish syndrome that has cost the Jewish people dearly. Fighting Islamic fundamentalism “with generalized hatred against Muslims, as does the EDL, is only a recipe for fuelling more conflict,” pontificates the Congress’ CEO Bernie Farber, who then proceeds to condemn “the intolerance and violence the EDL represents.”
These are Jews who profess to work quietly, to lobby behind the scenes, to practice an invisible advocacy by viewing themselves as noble supporters of “diversity” and freedom for all—bromides so nebulous as to have no significant impact—or promoting legislation against neo-Nazis while agitating on behalf of Islamists. This is either brain cramp or first-degree cognitive dissonance. And so they continue to maintain an obsolescent world-view in which a smattering of neo-Nazis who have no popular or effective base are regarded as a more serious threat than the thousands of Islamists and Islamic sympathizers who are zealously plotting their ruination. They are thus boosters of demagogic organizations like our soi-disant Human Rights Commissions, which are anything but.
Farber, for example, in an an interview with the Toronto Star’s dubious Haroon Siddiqui, essentially puts anti-Semitism, along with undeniably valid complaints against Muslims abusing our tribunal system in order to suppress dissent, on the same level. But the fact is, to quote Ezra Levant, “Farber is shilling for a fascist organization that routinely indulges in anti-Semitic propaganda.” Similarly, freelance writer David Menzies, guesting on the Michael Coren Show, says of Farber: “This is the guy who has embraced Human Rights Commissions to shut down skinhead loser Nazis in Saskatchewan, meanwhile giving a platform to the Islamist community.” As I have written before, Farber and his multitudinous ilk are the Jews who whisper “don’t rock the boat” when the boat is riddled with leaks and sinking fast. Just ask the Jewish population in England, France and Holland, many of whom are now making aliyah to Israel or emigrating to America and Australia.
One would hope that the “good Jews,” the “official Jews,” would one day show up for work, but they are so detached from reality as to give new meaning to the term “schizophrenia.” Muddling about in the asylums of their social and political infatuations, they turn against the JDL and the EDL, which have put their comfort and security on the line to defend a besieged culture, while merrily hobnobbing with interfaith dialogue groups and organizations like the Canadian Islamic Congress, whose function is to disarm awareness. They like to think of themselves as the voices of moderation. Regrettably, they are only mewling supplicators dressed up as ambassadors for the common weal.
Where, one can’t help wondering, do these people come from? What is their experience of real violence and the techniques of furtive subversion practiced against them? From where do they derive their putative competence, for it is clear that their skill set is no match for the adversary’s kill set? How do they rationally justify their silent acquiescence in the face of anti-Zionist cadres, so-called “anti-apartheid” brigades, BDS hooligans, left-wing trade unionists and aggressive Islamic contingents?
And what will they say should Luton eventually come to Canada and the U.S.?