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Community Groups Unite to Oppose Jewish Defense League's Rally in Support of the English Defense League

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Community Groups Unite to Oppose Jewish Defense League's Rally in Support of the English Defense League

Interviews Available 416-890-3703

On Tuesday, January 11, 2011, the Jewish Defense League of Canada (JDL) will be hosting a rally in support of the Islamophobic English Defense League (EDL) in Toronto. The event will feature an online address from Tommy Robinson, the leader of the EDL. Both groups have a history of violence aimed at Arab and Muslim people. Community groups from across Toronto, including the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Independent Jewish Voices and No One is Illegal, have come together to condemn the Jewish Defense League for their Islamophobia and for their support for the racist English Defense League. Over 25 groups have signed-on to the "Community Open Letter Denouncing the Jewish Defense League's Rally in Support of the English Defense League". The full text and list of signatures is available at www.caiaweb.org and http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org/node/540.

JENNY PETO
Peto is a member of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA): "The JDL and EDL both have histories of violence against Arab and Muslim people. As Palestine solidarity activists we have experienced the bullying and intimidation tactics of the JDL for years now. This rally in support of the Islamophobic English Defense League should leave no doubt in anyone's mind that the JDL is an extremist, racist organization. As long as groups like the JDL and EDL are spreading their hatred and violence, we will be here to oppose them."

FARIAH CHOWDURY
Chowdury is a member of No One is Illegal - Toronto: "We organize daily to oppose Islamophobia, particularly its use in carrying out wars of oppression in Iraq and Afghanistan and the targeting of Muslim men under 'security certificates' and so called anti-terrorism laws in Canada. When groups like the JDL and EDL organize in our city, we are here stand up and fight back. The racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric of the EDL and JDL must be challenged, confronted and dismantled.”

ANDY LEHRER
Lehrer is a member of Independent Jewish Voices (IJV): "This is not the first time the JDL has partnered with extremists - last year they hosted a rally for Geert Wilders, a Dutch right-wing extremist. They are an extremist group with a violent history, yet they have been allowed to organize within the Canadian Jewish community with impunity. It is not enough for self-appointed leaders of the Jewish community like Bernie Farber to say they are "disappointed" by the JDL. It is time for the Canadian Jewish Congress, Bnai Brith and other community institutions to join IJV in saying unequivocally that the JDL has no place in the Jewish community."

For interviews please contact the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid 416-890-3703