Monday, May 14, 2018

Alt-Right Ronny Cameron and the JDL: Strange Bedfellow

This is the second of two articles focusing on events in Toronto on May 12, 2018. Click here to see the first article.

For some time observers have noted that far right Jewish groups such as the Jewish Defence League have formed an alliance with white nationalists groups. In Canada, those groups include overtly Islamophobic hate groups such as the Soldiers of Odin as well as self-proclaimed western chauvinists the Proud Boys, a group founded by a man formerly employed by "Rebel Media" who spoke about his trip to Israel making him more anti-Semitic and who appears to have questioned the historicity of the Holocaust; he later posted a video of the 10 things he hates about Jews (which was later changed to things he hates about Israel):

None of this is a surprise as the JDL has been appearing to turn a blind eye to Trump supporting neo-Nazi harassment of Jews because the JDL too supports Donald Trump. In this country Meir Weinstein who heads the JDL gave Gavin McInnes a pass, though in another interview he was quick to claim the Canadian JDL would certainly defend Jews in Whitefish, Montana:
The Canadian branch of the Jewish Defense League is prepared to mobilize in Whitefish, Montana, where neo-Nazis are planning an anti-Jewish march on Martin Luther King Jr. Day — and do whatever it takes to “smash the Nazis.”  
“We would be more than wiling to help in any way,” said Meir Weinstein, national director of Canada’s JDL. The FBI has designated the U.S. branch of the movement a terrorist organization. 
Weinstein, who calls himself a “loyal disciple” of the JDL’s founder, the firebrand Jewish nationalist Meir Kahane, called “alt-right” figurehead Richard Spencer a Nazi.  
“That guy’s going to get his head kicked in. He’s a Nazi, this guy’s a Nazi,” Weinstein said of Spencer in a phone interview.  
Spencer does not call himself a Nazi and has publicly sought to distinguish himself from a previous generation of white nationalists — by using terms like “alt-right” and calling himself a white “identitarian.” 
It should be noted that neither Weinstein nor the rest of the Canadian JDL wento Whitefish and no heads were kicked in. But I guess saying so made him feel good about himself.

But then as in the case of McInnes, there are other reasons to doubt that the JDL under Meir is the Nazi smashing group it was once known as in the 1970s and 80s.

On Saturday, members of the JDL counter-protested a rally condemning the American government's decision to move their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Prior to this event, self-proclaimed white nationalist and alt-right supporter Ronny Cameron had been participating in a protest at Ryerson University. Cameron first spoke to the JDL contingent where he was very well received.... perhaps because he was also wearing a Trump mask but also because he has become known in that particular community. He eventually made his way to Meir Weinstein who greeted Cameron warmly.

However later on in the video, Cameron made some statements concerning Israel that might cause Meir some concern:

Or perhaps they won't cause Meir any concern?

After all, he seems to have made a bit of a devil's bargain.

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