01.13.2011 07:25 AM

Unholy Alliance

That was the name of my 1992 book that described an alliance between dangerous anti-Semites and outlaw Arab nations.

Now, almost 20 years later, there’s been a change of roles: Jews (including one whom I like, and is a friend) apparently making common cause with racists – because they all hate Muslims. It all came to a head this week, in Toronto.

As the above-linked column describes, some in Canada’s Jewish right wing – in this case, the JDL, but which also now includes the Canada Israel Committee – have started to make friends with white supremacists. It’s a bizarre, it’s wrong, and it’s a real-life extension of the “enemy of my enemy” aphorism.  Among other things, it makes me very sad.

For the Jewish community, it is more than an unholy alliance. In my opinion, it is a disaster.

44 Comments

  1. bigcitylib says:

    On this, B’nai Brith seems to be notable by their silence.

  2. Is is possible because the “left” are no longer viewed as reliable or trustworthy partners in protecting them or their interests?

    Is it possible the Liberals and Democrats are being supplanted by centre, centre right political forces that have taken a firmer position regarding the divestment strategy, singling out Israel at the UN by the left?

    Is it possible the unholy alliance of Liberals tacking left taking up with the NDP seen as a greater threat?

    Is it possible lesson from history is the left wing forces that gave us collectivist doctrine -Socialism and Communism is a greater threat?

    • Warren says:

      So you think it’s okay to call Muslims “parasites,” then. Nice.

      • I am fairly certain I have never used that broad brush. I don’t share your expertise with JDL or the guest spokesperson they invited on the internet. Would you say they are as neutral as George Galloway who is embraced by many in the left?

        Are you suggesting we censor or charge them with “hate speech” laws?

    • Namesake says:

      Is it possible that even with one of the staunchest allies of Israeli and Jewish causes imaginable now occupying the Prime Minister’s office zealously combatting all their real and imagined foes, this group is just exhibiting extraordinarily bad judgment in thinking it needs to align itself with an extremist group, as are you in defending that?

  3. Bill says:

    Canadian fucking Nonsense, get a job!

  4. H Holmes says:

    Warren,
    The Anti-Zionists are made up of groups of truthers, hard left socialists and radical muslims.
    Almost any message board seems to have section of this group.
    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/10/12/jonathan-kay-cupws-radical-politics-and-anti-israel-bigotry-are-a-disgrace-to-letter-carriers/
    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/01/11/toronto-star-writer-apparently-withdraws-from-anti-israel-hatefest/

    It is no surprise that hard line zionists felt that they needed to find a partner to help them and found them in the EDL.

    The shame is that moderates on all sides get lost in the shuffle.

  5. Art Williams says:

    We should guard against anyone who supports the mixing of Church and State whether it be Jewish, Muslim or Christian.

  6. james curran says:

    I think I’ll sit this one out.

  7. Andy Lehrer says:

    Richard Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion blog has some interesting background on Weinstein, including the fact that he was still involved with Kach/Kahane Chai as late as 2002, long after the group was banned as a terrorist organization.

    http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/edl-makes-link-with-jewish-defence-league-in-canada/

  8. Eliezer says:

    I was surprised that JDL who have been trying of late to rehabilitate their name decided to hug EDL. I think on this we need to be guided by the more rational voices in the Jewish community. The article that Warren linked to written by two top leaders of the CJC is a breath of fresh air and one which I think most Jews in Toronto would agree with.

    • Andy Lehrer says:

      Even so, Farber’s article falls far short of a full and proper condemnation. He treats the JDL like naifs when in fact they are an extremist hate group with a history of violence. For years, when pressed, Farber would claim that the Canadian JDL was somehow different than the US JDL (whose leader, Irv Rubin, killed himself in jail after being charged in a plot to blow up a mosque and assassinate a Congressman). Jewish leaders have said nothing as the JDL has organized in the community, even going into high schools, to spread its ideology of hate. Yes, Weinstein is a schmoozer who succors favour from people he thinks can be useful to him, like Farber and Warren Kinsella, but flattery shouldn’t be enough for people who really should know better to excuse him or what he stands for. Weinstein is linked with the banned Kach/Kahane Chai movement which is on Canada’s list of terrorist organizations. It’s not enough to tut-tut that Weinstein has strayed from the path by cuddling up with the EDL – Weinstein and the JDL need to be pulled up out the ground root and branch like weeds and ostracised from the Jewish community. Farber’s op/ed is but a feeble first step and it may be too little too late. I certainly hope Warren will think twice befoe speaking at another JDL meeting or giving Weinsten the time of day.

        • Eliezer says:

          I kind of understand Warren’s take in accepting and even speaking with Meir Weinstein in the past.

          Contrary to what Andy Lehrer tries to present, the JDL, while undoubtedly a group with questionable tactics, it did take on neo-Nazis in the past and I cannot presently find anything to suggest that it has broken any Canadian laws. I do not like the JDL’s tactics and have never participated in its work but unless, like its American counterpart, it can be shown to have broken the law surely it has a right to do its thing.

          This does not mean that given its present shtik we shouldn’t speak out. Now the JDL has shown itself willing to make common cause with those they battled in the past; white supremacists, thugs, neo-nazis. The JDL should be ashamed of itself. I am glad Warren has said he will no longer support the JDL. I am glad that Farber has spoken out as well. Like it or not Mr. Leherer, the CJC I think on this pretty well has the pulse of most of my community.

  9. Andy Lehrer says:

    So Eliezer, do you think the JDL should be allowed to organize in high schools? Do you think mainstream Jewish communities should organize joint rallies with the JDL as has occured in recent years? Do you think Jewish youth should be exposed to the JDL’s views? Just because a group is legal doesn’t mean they are legitimate or merit community recognition. The JDL didn’t just start being a hate group, they’ve been a hate group all along. This myth of “Canadian JDL exceptionalism” and the weak excuse that “they’re not illegal” is no reason for supposedly mainstream organizations or figures to work with them. Yes, the JDL took on nazis in the past but, at the same time in the 1980s, they were supporting Kahane at a time when he was advocating expulsion of Arabs from Israel and advocating a Nuremburg type law that would have made sexual relations between Jews and Muslims illegal in Israel. This is excusable?

    • Andy Lehrer says:

      And Eliezer, when one of the JDL’s followers, inflamed by their hateful rhetoric, finally crosses the line and kills someone or plants a bomb somewhere do you really think anyone will accept the excuse that “well, they weren’t doing anything illegal” excuse? You really don’t think anyone would have expected respectable Jewish community leaders and groups to have seen the warning signs years ago? Weinstein may be careful about what he says in public and what he puts on his website but don’t think for a moment that his followers aren’t being taught to hate or being reinforced in their existing hatreds. I’m sure those pictures of Weinstein kibbitzing with Farber or English or Benlolo or Dimant or Peter Kent won’t at all be embarassing a few months or years down the line when the seeds of hate that Weinstein is planting finally bear fruit and somone lies dead in a morgue as a result.

  10. Eliezer says:

    Mr. Leherer, please calm down perhaps you require a valium. I said quite plainly that I am not a supporter of the JDL. And no I do not believe they should speak in high schools in the very same way I dont think Independent Jewish Voices, a finge anti-Zionist group should be allowed to speak there either. I also dont think that certain elements of the ARA should speak in high schools nor do I believe that the EDL should speak in high schools and I wouldnt want you near high school students either for that matter.

    As for your conjecture that someone from the JDL may murder someone some day, I suppose its as possible as anything else though truth be told the JDL has been around here for years and never to my knowledge has ever had a brush with the law. So you can create paranoia all you want but honestly you are beginning to sound odd.

    • Andy Lehrer says:

      Well, the JDL is speaking in high schools and they do organize Jewish Day School students. Don’t you think Jewish leaders should meet with Day School Principals and advise them not to permit the JDL past their doors?

      • Andy Lehrer says:

        There’s a difference between not wanting someone to speak to high schools because you don’t agree with them politically, which is your motivation in not wanting IJV or me to speak to high school students and presumably contaminate them with the radical notion that Palestinians have civil rights, and not wanting someone to speak to high school because they advocate hate and are linked with violent fascist groups. By equating the former with the latter you show that you don’t really grasp the problem here. Further, you neglect the fact that while Farber et al have been quite outspoken in their attempts to ostracise a group like Independent Jewish Vocies for criticising Israel they have not opposed a fascist group like JDL organizing within the Jewish community.

        • Andy Lehrer says:

          And I don’t know why you are so shocked by the idea that the someone may be killed due to the JDL’s rhetoric. Tell that to Alex Odeh. Tell that Darrell Issa. Or are you going to now repeat the old myth that the Canadian JDL is nothing at all like the US JDL and that the only thing they have in common is their name? Farber had claimed that for years only to have it blow up in his face this week. It’s time, Eliezer, to stop behaving as if there was a “good” JDL and a “bad” JDL. It’s the same group.

  11. Eliezer says:

    Mr. Lehrer, you are indeed paranoid and I have learned that one simply cannot argue with paranoia. You say that the JDL has been operating in high schools yet I have seen nothing to suggest so. You claim that the JDL are potentially murderous criminals yet there is nothing here in Canada to prove such other than the speculation of a paranoid mind.

    However, unlike you I dont tilt over the edge. I prefer real time. One thing is for sure, the JDL have proven itself to be open to facists and racists. I support the CJC’s calling them out. No one should make common cause with violent bigots.

  12. Jean Paul Masse says:

    Watching a bit from afar I just do not understand Andy Lehrer’s problem. Mr. Farber and his colleague Mr. Shinewald wrote a very cogent yet critical editorial excoriating the JDL and I applaud them for doing so. Mr. Kinsella has acknowledged that Mr. Weinstein was a friend but like Farber/Shinewald is critical now (and rightly so) of the JDL for their support of these footbal hooligans.

    I am sorry Mr.Lehrer but it seems to me that you ahve an entirely different problem with the CJC, a group by the way that I and many others have much respect for.

  13. Shmully says:

    I support the JDL and take issue with both Farber and Kinsella. Its time we take a stand against radical Islam and if that means we have to link arms with those who may not exactly be our friends that’s ok with me as long as they believe in our aims.

    Farber represents the mainstream of Canadian Jews and we represent the few who feel we are the new breed. Kinsella should join us , the EDL may have a few old neo-Nazis and the odd bigot but their hearts are in the right place.

  14. Eliezer says:

    Between Lehrer and Shmully I think I’m going to be sick

  15. Andy Lehrer says:

    Eliezer states:
    ‎”You say that the JDL has been operating in high schools yet I have seen nothing to suggest so‎”

    Here you go:
    http://jdlcanada.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/jdl-director-meir-weinsteins-presentation-toronto-high-school/

    JP Masse – my problem with the CJC is that a number of us have been saying for literally years that the CJC needs to speak out against the JDL but until this month they did nothing and when the statement Farber finally did make is quite weak. The JDL is organizing within the Jewish community, has had joint rallies with mainstream Jewish organizations etc and its time for that to stop.

  16. Andy Lehrer says:

    Also, Eliezer, I do not see how warning that the violent hateful rhetoric of the JDL will one day lead to violence makes me ”paranoid” particularly when we have seen Kahanaist movements sharing the same ideology and language as the ”Canadian JDL” engage in violence. We have seen throughout history that hateful words often lead to hateful deeds and indeed, that is one of the arguments many of us, including the CJC, have used to justify laws against hate speech.

    Also, I don’t think you understand the meaning of the word paranoid since you’re using it incorrectly. I’ve never said I think the JDL are out to get me. Frankly, your use of the term is nonsensical.

  17. Eliezer says:

    Mr. Lehrer, there are a number of definitions of paranoia and a little education on your part would have saved you much embarassment.

    For example a generally accepted definition is “baseless or excessive suspicion of the motives of others” and ” informal intense fear or suspicion, esp when unfounded ” see http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/paranoia; all of which I believe pertain to you.

    And Mr. Lehrer, please do not confuse my abhorrence of the JDL’s foray into supporting racist hooligans with my admonition to you that its history still does not suggest that the Canadian JDL would be murderously violent. Its that suspicion, that intense fear on your part that speaks to your paranoia.

    And finally I do believe Mr Masse got it more right than you. Its clear that you have had a long time dislike of CJC. Unlike you, its leadership is more careful with its public criticism. It weighs legal activity against the best interests of the community. While it may tolerate JDL it did so it seems to me until it crossed the line. You draw your paranoid line much differently and given these unfounded fears of yours I guess its understandable.

  18. Andy Lehrer says:

    You admitted earlier that the JDL was “fascist” but you don’t think that can lead to violence and that warning that it likely will is “paranoia”? Further you do not deny that the JDL has engaged in terrorism in the US and violence in France but you somehow think the Canadian JDL, which has never repudiated other JDL chapters and has never repudiated Kach or Kahane is somehow different and cannot be violent? You’re naive, Eliezer.

  19. Eliezer says:

    Naive? Don’t think so Andy, more like rational as opposed to paranoid. Glad to see by the way that you accept the definition now…and to be clear one’s best barometer is history….the JDL has no history here in Canada of criminal activity. I still condemn their present activity and will continue to do so as long as it makes common cause with racists, bigots and hooligans.

  20. Shmully says:

    Andy Lehrer, the JDL would only fight to defend itself and our community. So on that Eliezer is right. And while I don’t much like Farber’s mealy-mouthed “let’s all be friends and the world will be a better place” attitude, it seems that he is where most of our community is at.

  21. Andy Lehrer says:

    Eliezer, well, I’m glad you’re condemning the JDL, I hope the CJC and BBC follow suit and start warning school administrators against them appearing in schools (I hope you concede that they have actually gone into schools now that I’ve provided a link) and warn the community in general about the dangers of these blackshirts. I suppose you think I was “paranoid” when I was urging Farber to condemn the JDL earlier this decade when he was refusing to do so.

    Shmully, the Jewish community is not at risk here and doesn’t need the JDL to “defend” it. Even the National Post has called the Bnai Brith’s annual “audit” of anti-Semitic incidents, which falsely claims anti-Semitism is on the increase, an exercise in hysteria. http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/05/12/jonathan-kay-on-b-nai-b-rith.aspx

  22. Eliezer says:

    Andy, you would know about hysteria. On one thing we agree, the JDL should not be in schools. I imagine the spate of publicity will take care of that.

    That said, your paranoia remains. Farber is not responsible for all things. Last year the JDL was not associating with bigots and hooligans. Now that they have shown that they are choosing to align with groups like the JDL they are self-ostrasizing.

    By the way in my view your demonization of the Jewish state( I take it you are the same Andy Lehrer that is with Independent Jewish Voices) stands at par with the JDL. Yes its different but I wouldnt want you anywhere near high school students either.

    • Andy Lehrer says:

      “Last year the JDL was not associating with bigots and hooligans”

      That’s wrong, last year the JDL organized a similar rally and speech by and for Dutch racist Jeert Wilders, previously, they brought Israeli extremist Moshe Feiglin and then there are the annual rememberance meetings for bigot and hooligan Meir Kahane. To suggest that the JDL has only now started associating with bigots and hooligans is plan wrong.

      As for your false claims about me, please quote to me one statement in which I have practiced “demonization” of Israel.

  23. Eliezer says:

    Andy, is Israel an Aparteid state?

    • Andy Lehrer says:

      So I see you’re not contesting my statement that in fact, the JDL was “associating with bigots and hooligans” last year and the year before. Obviously, the definition of “paranoid” you are using to describe anyone who warned about the JDL prior to the CJC seeing the light does not hold. Perhaps the phrase you are thinking of is “premature anti-fascist”?

      As for apartheid, I expect you are using the narrowest definition possible ie the system of racial segregation implemented by the National Party in South Africa ca 1948 which was dismantled in the late 1980s and early 1990s and are disregarding either the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court which defines the crime of apartheid as “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime” or the use of apartheid as an analogy. I suppose by the same token you’d also define fascism as the party and system led by Benito Mussolini in Italy from the 1920s until his death near the end of World War II and argue that Spain under Franco, Portugal under Salazar, Austria under the Arrow Cross etc were not fascist because they weren’t Italian.

      In the narrowest and most literal sense Israel is not an apartheid state because Palestinians and Jews are not different races. Indeed, hemotological studies suggest that Palestinians and Jews are more closely related to each other than either group is to anyone else. This suggests that, for the most part, Palestinians and Jews are both descended from the ancient Hebrews and that the Palestinians converted to Christianity and Islam while the Jews did not (and both groups had some mixture with others over the millenia of course).

      However, if we leave race out of the Rome Statute definition we have “institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one group over any other group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” I think that arguably that does describe the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians and so the term apartheid is useful as an analogy and a number of Israeli politicians have used it, for instance, either to warn of what Israel may become or to describe Israel as it is.

      For instance, in 2007 then PM Ehud Olmert said:
      “If the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights, then the State of Israel is finished”

      More recently, Defence Minister Ehud Barak said:
      “As long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic… If this bloc of millions of

      • Andy Lehrer says:

        the last part of my reply was cut off. Barak said “As long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic… If this bloc of millions of ­Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”

        Former Israeli Education Minister Shulamit Aloni wrote that “The US Jewish Establishment’s onslaught on former President Jimmy Carter is based on him daring to tell the truth which is known to all: through its army, the government of Israel practises a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies”

        Former Israeli Attorney-General Michael Ben-Yair claimed that there has been established “an apartheid regime in the occupied territories”, in an essay published in Haaretz.

        Eliezer, are Olmert, Barak, Aloni and Ben-Yair engaging in the “demonization” of Israel?

  24. Eliezer says:

    Of course not young man, you see Olmert et al use the future tense, its a warning. You on the other hand use the present tense, a statement of fact as you see it. Nice wiggling by the way, “In the narrowest and most literal sense Israel is not an apartheid state…” your agenda betrays you.

  25. Andy Lehrer says:

    So Olmert and Barak do not demonise Israel by saying it will be an apartheid state if it continues on the road it’s on. I

    ‘m glad you’ve conceded that thwe term “apartheid” can be used iin discussions about Israel and I forgive you you arrognat and condescending tone.i

    Now what about Aloni and Ben-Yair who use it in the present tense?

  26. boulder denston says:

    Geert Wilders and the EDL are not the racist fascists people make them out to be. JDL’s partner seems to be the largest Hindu advocacy in Canada, the Canadian Hindu Advocacy… this groups joined JDL in their support rallies for Wilders and the EDL.

    And there is no moderate group than the Canadian Hindu Advocacy.

    • Andy Lehrer says:

      Nonsense. CHA is openly chauvinistic and has links with the extremist RSS/BJP. More moderate Hindu groups have denounced them for their involvement in this summer’s protests against the school board.

  27. Randi4 Andi says:

    We all loved Andy.

    Even when he was a chubby little boy he would come down to The Barracks and the Richmond Street Health Emporium.

    One hard playful slap and you could ride the waves for 10 minutes!

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