Skip to content

Authorities Permit Jewish Extremist Militia to Enter Israel

September 26, 2011
Graffiti in Hebron
“Gas The Arabs – JDL (Jewish Defense League)” Hebron – June 2010

On a visit to Hebron last year, I discovered this lovely bit of political art (its message particularly evocative for Jews). The Jewish Defense League is a Jewish militant organization founded by extremist American-Israeli rabbi Meir Kahane. Kahane’s political party, Kach, was banned in Israel in 1988, and the JDL was listed by the US State Department as a terrorist organization in 1994.

That classification doesn’t seem to prevent the entry of JDL militiamen into Israel, however. The French chapter of the Jewish Defense League, which has a history of violent attacks in peaceful pro-Palestinian demonstrations in France, has assembled a force of fifty-five militiamen and sent them to the Holy Land on a “mission” to protect Israel settlements from Palestinians. According to the recruiting website, “the aim of this expedition is to lend a hand to our brothers facing aggression from the Palestinian occupiers, and to enhance the security of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria [West Bank].” Israel has allowed the group to enter.

This past July, 600+ pro-Palestinian activists flew into Israel’s Ben Gurion airport within a 24-hour period and announced that they had arrived to visit Palestine, not Israel. The action was meant to highlight the fact that most people looking to visit the West Bank are forced to lie about their intentions upon entry. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed his government to dramatically increase security staff at the airport, and to deport anyone participating in the action. “Every country has the right to prevent entry of disrupters and provocateurs at its borders,” he said.

Armed French citizens in a West Bank settlement – Photo: JDL

Capable peace activists can indeed be disruptive and provocative, but it’s difficult to understand why they would be seen as more troublesome than trained militants. The JDL in France sought candidates with prior military experience and martial arts training. There is little doubt that Israel, a country that puts such an emphasis on border security, could have prevented such people from entering. And yet it chose not to do so.

Read more at AlJazeeraForeign fighters support Israel’s settlements

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2011 11:40 am

    Hi Jake,
    After knowing this information, do you still think peaceful resistance is effective!?

    • September 28, 2011 12:05 pm

      I think it’s more effective. More opportunity to highlight the moral disparity between the sides. More events like this and you might even be able to change who people think the “terrorists” are. Not to mention the fact that the ability to allow the entrence of Jewish militants and reject Palestinian ones is exclusively Israel’s. Don’t play the game you can’t win.

      Besides, the peaceful resistance activities complimented by agressive diplomatic policy is generating some pretty significant international sympathy these days. I’d say keep pushing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: