Mainstream Jewish groups in America have condemned Jewish thugs from the Jewish Defense League who attacked Palestinian and Jewish protesters outside the AIPAC conference in Washington last month.
It follows an assault on a Palestinian-American teacher and on an anti-occupation Jewish group protesting against Israeli policy outside the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent lobby group.
Police said they had charged Canadian Yosef Steynovitz, 32, with assault with significant bodily injury, after 55-year old Kamal Nayfeh was badly beaten by up to a dozen JDL vigilantes on Sunday 28 March.
Hiding their faces with sunglasses, scarves and hoodies, the group attacked Nayfeh by punching, stamping and kicking him, with several others beating him with flags, while wearing T-shirts reading ‘Never Again.’
Rami Lubranicki, 59, of Howell, New Jersey, was also charged with assault with a dangerous weapon. In both instances, “suspected hate crime” was recorded.
Video shows the attack on Nayfar and, separately, on an activist associated with IfNotNow, a Jewish group which opposes Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
This week eight Jewish organisations condemned the JDL, which was listed as a “terrorist organisation” by the FBI in 2001. The groups are: Union for Reform Judaism, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the American Jewish Committee, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, T’ruah and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.
However Meir Weinstein, director of the Canadian JDL, said the group acted only in “self-defence” and that the videos were “selectively spliced.”
The JDL was founded by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was arrested 62 times before finally being jailed for planning armed attacks on Palestinians. He was assassinated in 1990, but his racist ideology still retains support in Israel and abroad.