The JDL Chai? The Jewish Defense League, started by Kahane in 1968, has returned to North America.

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Published on: August 23, 2014

The JDL chai?

Amid a spate of violent anti-Israel protests, young Jews are turning increasingly to militant solutions.

In Canada, members of the Jewish Defense League, JDL, the activist group founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1968, have been prominent at several high-profile street rallies, including last month at Palestine House in Mississauga. According to a report by the Canadian Jewish News, the faceoff, which resulted in two arrests and one JDL member “shedding blood,” marked the return of the Jewish activist group to North America.

Indeed, the JDL has announced intentions to set up chapters in Montreal and Calgary – and potentially Ottawa and Vancouver – in response to growing demand.

Though the JDL was very active in the United States during the seventies and eighties, the group was branded a “right-wing terrorist group” by the FBI in 2001, after a failed attempt to bomb a California mosque.

“The group was very active in the seventies, but the country was a very different place,” said Rabbi Steven Burg, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “But I don’t think it has a chance of coming back today. New York has such an excellent relationship with law enforcement.”

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The JDL Chai? The Jewish Defense League, started by Kahane in 1968, has returned to North America.

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