LONDON – California state senate candidate and Tea Party activist Rabbi Nachum
Shifren’s communion with the English Defense League has been condemned by Jewish
Shifren, known as the ‘Surfing Rabbi,’ joined a
march organized by the far-right group outside the Israeli Embassy in London on
The Board of Deputies of British Jews said that the Shifren’s
relationship with the EDL is an attempt by the group to play minorities against
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“Regrettably, this result will only embolden extremists at
the other end of the spectrum, and particularly the insidious EDL, who want
nothing more than to sow fear and mistrust in the hope of attracting greater
support,” said Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies. “The
community should be in no doubt as to who and what lies behind the EDL and their
attempts to pitch minorities against each other whilst sanitizing their own
“Rabbi Shifren displays breathtaking naivete and ignorance
in associating himself with the EDL, and in the way he characterizes the British
Whatever the dangers of radicalization in the UK, they
apply just as much to the Right as to the Left and to Islamism. This is one Tea
Party invitation he should decline,” Benjamin said.
director of communications for the Community Security Trust, which monitors
anti-Semitism and provides security for the Jewish community in Britain, said,
“The English Defense League’s impact comes from its street muscle, largely
comprised of football hooligans.
“This is why EDL seeks mob rule and
attacks police as well as random Asians. Yes, British Jews rightly have sincere
concerns about the local impact, actions and ideology of extreme Islamist
groups, but white street racism is a dangerous beast and it is delusional,
immoral and plain counter-productive to shelter amongst such
Shifren told the 300-strong crowd at Sunday’s demonstration that
those who criticize him “don’t have the guts” to take action themselves against
the threat of Islamism.
“From the minute I set foot in this country, I’ve
had nothing but abuse, and I tell you now, I welcome every single bit of it,” he
“To all my Jewish brothers who have called me a Nazi, and have
asked why I’m poking my nose into England’s business, I say to them they don’t
have the guts to stand up here and take care of business,” he
Voicing support for the EDL, which opposes the “spread of Islamism”
and marches across the UK against what it labels as Muslim extremism, the rabbi
said: “There is only one group in England with moral courage. I wish just one
politician had the backbone to stand up and agree, but they’ll never do that
because of the Arab petrol dollars...
“In those so-called freedom
centers, they plot to destroy and kill us. We’re still waiting for the Muslims
to make peace with each other. They eat each other alive, like the dogs that
they are,” Shifren said.
“I’m looking at this crowd of people here in the
UK, and I can see Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and yes, even Jews, too. We wanted
to say to all those liberals who preach multiculturalism, why don’t you go to
Saudi Arabia and start there.
“I will not stand by and watch the
destruction of both of our countries from within,” he said.
be recorded that on this day, read by our children for eternity, one group lit
the spark to liberate us from the oppressors of our two governments and the
leftist, fifth column, quisling press, and that it was the EDL which started the
liberation of England from evil.
“Today is the first day of the rest of
your lives. We shall prevail, we will not let them take over our
We will never surrender to the sword of Islam.”
from the demonstration at the Israeli Embassy, Shifren and the EDL went on to
Speakers Corner in London’s Hyde Park, where he spoke to the assembled
Following the tradition of Speakers Corner, Shifren engaged in a
dialogue with members of the public who opposed his stance.
later, scuffles broke out between EDL members and mainly Muslim men, and tables
containing Islamic literature were overturned.
The police moved in and a
number of arrests were made.
Shifren, a Southern California native, is
running for office in Los Angeles’s Crenshaw district.
At the outbreak of
the Yom Kippur War, he became a kibbutz volunteer, and in 1977 made aliya.
Shifren served in the IDF and received a degree in Combat Fitness Training at
the Wingate Institute for Sports.
Shifren attended Toras Chayim Yeshiva
in Jerusalem and Yeshivat Tomchei Tmimim in Kfar Chabad, where he received his
rabbinical ordination in 1990.