Racist JDL cancels New York event

Kahane supporters demonstrating in Jerusalem

Meir Kahane’s racist supporters are active in Jerusalem and Toronto and hoping to organize again in New York City.

Nir Alon ZUMA Press

Meir Weinstein, head of the Jewish Defense League of Canada, announced Monday that the JDL meeting planned for 2 February in New York has been canceled.

He blamed BDS – the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights.

The JDL followed up with a statement claiming that “Anti-Semitic BDS groups were threatening the Eshel Hospitality Center and as a result, the Eshel Center informed us they cannot go forward with the event because of the anti-Semitic threats.”

The JDL said it would reschedule at another venue “in the near future.”

Neither the JDL nor the Eshel Hospitality Center, in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, released examples of these alleged threats.

Any violent threats or anti-Semitism would violate foundational nonviolent and anti-racism principles of the BDS movement. The center did not respond to an inquiry from The Electronic Intifada.

What is known is that Weinstein threatened to go “toe to toe” and take “serious action” against so-called BDS bullies in his declaration Monday.

He was the one threatening violence – as members of his organization initiated in 2017 outside the AIPAC conference.

He has also wrongly conflated a movement for Palestinian equal rights with the violent anti-Semites who have attacked and murdered Jews in recent months from Pittsburgh to Jersey City and elsewhere.

JDL backs ethnic cleansing

Earlier this month, The Electronic Intifada raised the question of whether the JDL sought to start a race war in New York City.

Weinstein then released a barrage of Facebook posts signaling his support for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

It is not clear whether the Eshel Center thought better of hosting an organization that has repeatedly expressed support for the views of Meir Kahane, the late JDL founder who made his name in the 1970s and 1980s by calling for ethnic cleansing.

Support for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians – albeit masked as a “peace” proposal – has since been taken up by such figures as Henry Kissinger, former Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman and more recently President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Weinstein wrote on Facebook last week, before the release of the president’s proposals, that “The Palestinian Authority has rejected the Trump Peace Plan.”

“I guess Israel will have to annex the territories and the Arabs can become Jordanian citizens,” Weinstein added.

Israeli expansionists have long advanced the myth that “Jordan is Palestine.”

Weinstein initially was not explicit as to whether Palestinians should be forcibly expelled to Jordan or if they would remain where they are and come under Jordanian citizenship in the Bantustans Israel has consigned them to.

A response by a Facebook friend of Weinstein’s clears up any uncertainty: “Not one inch needs to be Israel’s new unofficial motto. Annex already and transfer the Narnians who identify as such to Jordan.”

Among those “liking” this call for ethnic cleansing was Weinstein.

Also this week, Weinstein urged revoking the citizenship of Palestinian citizens of Israel.

And he followed up by posting a video of Kahane from the 1980s explicitly saying he wanted to “transfer the Arabs” by force if necessary, and claiming a “normal person” would support his position against “Arab babies.”

This prompted CNN interviewer Tom Braden to ask Kahane how his policy differed from those of Hitler or Stalin – the kind of frank question that would be unthinkable on any mainstream network today.

Weinstein told his Facebook friends: “This interview with Rabbi Meir Kahane is relevant for the reality of today.”

The bigotry expressed is no surprise. Weinstein made common cause at a 2018 anti-Palestinian rally with white nationalist Faith Goldy and current Florida Republican congressional candidate Laura Loomer who has repeatedly directed discriminatory attacks against Muslims.

At that rally, he called for Goldy to be “in office.” Goldy once issued a call – from Bethlehem – for a “crusade” to take back Bethlehem for Christians.

Whether Weinstein is able to bring his brand of JDL bigotry to New York remains to be seen.

He says he will. US officials will face inquiries if JDL members attack innocent civilians as those associated with the group have done previously, from Hebron to Washington, DC.




Those New Yorkers who would be tempted to join the JDL are living in Israel now. Or to be precise, in illegal West Bank settlements. A recent march called in New York City to highlight both real and spurious instances of antisemitism failed to attract anything like the number forecast by organizers. It should be obvious that the reason the JDL have cancelled their racist rally is because they were unable to generate interest. Blaming that on the BDS campaign is a false attribution, but under the circumstances let's all take credit.


In 2016, Governor Cuomo directed that businesses refusing to partner with A-I, Apartheid-Israel, will not get contracts with New York state agencies, thereby putting the state itself on the slippery Punish Free Speech slope. I wonder if the JDL event has been postponed because Cuomo has a scheduling conflict and could not Keynote.

Michael F. Brown

Michael F. Brown is an independent journalist. His work and views have appeared in The International Herald Tribune, TheNation.com, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The News & Observer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post and elsewhere.