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Press Release: The Jewish community doesn’t need the Jewish Defense League

Feb 16, 2015 | Antisemitism, CIJA Publications, Community Partners, Media, Press Releases, Quebec

Montreal, February 16, 2015 – The Jewish Defense League (JDL) has announced it will be launching a Montreal chapter at a gathering this evening, with the stated purpose of ensuring the safety of the Quebec Jewish community.

In response, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs Québec (CIJA-Quebec), the advocacy agent of the organized Jewish community, issued the following statement.

“The Jewish community of Quebec categorically rejects the sensationalist tactics of the JDL and rejects its claim of ensuring the safety of Quebec Jews and their institutions,” said Rabbi Reuben Poupko, member of the Board of CIJA-Quebec.

“The JDL is a small, marginal group that does not receive any substantial support within our community. By claiming that the Jews of Quebec need a rapid response team to antisemitic threats, the JDL is irresponsibly contributing to the creation a climate of fear within the Jewish community.”

“The Jewish community of Quebec has no use for the JDL. Federation CJA, the central planning and coordinating body of the Jewish community, has always ensured the safety of Jewish institutions with a team of qualified professionals working closely with the City of Montreal Police Department.”

“In Quebec, antisemitic crimes are thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators are punished with the full force of the law, while at the political level, antisemitism is strongly denounced.”

“Finally, we reject the comparison being made between radical Islam and the JDL. The goal of those making the comparison is none other than to distract the attention of the public and of the authorities from the realities of radical Islam, the only religious fundamentalism currently constituting a security threat to all Quebecers. There is no doubt that the presence of the JDL is problematic, however it is worth noting that the JDL of Canada has never committed any criminal or violent act, nor has it been accused of inciting hatred.”

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