The Jewish Defense League is an organization formed by Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1968 to to protect Jews from antisemitism. Many of its operations have perpetrated violence against Arab and Muslim individuals and organizations. It is considered a terrorist organization by the FBI and the JDL is banned in the United States, Canada and the EU. The French branch of the JDL, the Ligue de Défense Juive (LDJ), is not illegal in France.
France's Soaring Anti-Semitism Lures Jewish Defense League Vigilantes out of Shadows
|Rabbi Meir Kahane|
PARIS (JTA)—With scooter helmets in hand, a man called Yohan and six buddies stroll around Paris’ 20th arrondissement. The seven look much like a typical group of French students—until they locate a group of Arab men they suspect of perpetrating an anti-Semitic attack the previous day.
Using their helmets as bludgeons, members of France’s Jewish Defense League, or LDJ, set upon the Arabs and beat them. Several of the Arabs attempt to escape in a blue sedan, but the LDJ members pursue the vehicle, causing it to crash into a stone wall.
The attack last August, filmed by a television crew shooting a documentary on LDJ, was one of at least 115 violent incidents that critics attribute to the group since its registration in France in 2001—a year after the eruption of the second intifada in Israel and the sevenfold increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the 12 years that followed.
“Now they know the price of Jewish blood,” said Yohan, the nom de guerre of Joseph Ayache, one of LDJ’s young bosses.