French authorities have decided to ban the Jewish Defense League as a way of assuring public order and preventing clashes between protesters.
The Interior Ministry is working round the clock on the possibility of outlawing the JDL, the Liberation daily quoted “top police sources” as saying on Thursday.
“We are making the most rigorous judicial analysis,” a source close to the issue said.
A dissolution is possible even though the JDL is not a legally constituted association, but a group composed de facto, according to Liberation.
Last week, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve accused the JDL of committing reprehensible acts that should be condemned.
The JDL was involved in two recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations, protecting Jews against angry mobs: on July 13 at the Synagogue de la Roquette near the Bastille, and on July 20 at the Ozar Hatorah synagogue in Sarcelles north of Paris.
Liberation told its readers that the FBI named the JDL “a terrorist group” in 2001, and that it is also banned in Israel. It further said that some of JDL’s members, like those of the Betar youth movement, have studied the Israeli martial art Krav Maga, and they embarrass Jewish community leaders.
Left-wing deputes in the National Assembly encouraged the government to take measures against the JDL. Some of them wrote to President François Hollande and to the interior minister.
Socialist Party deputy Olivier Faure, in his letter, wondered how it is that the JDL is authorized in France, while banned in the US and Israel.
Communist Party deputy Jean-Jacques Candelier expressed his support of the National Observatory Against Islamophobia, which works with the Conseil français du culte musulman (the French Council of the Muslim Faith) against “an extremist and racist association that practices violence.”
The Left Party demanded an investigation into the Synagogue de la Roquette incident to check on “provocation by the JDL.”
Cazeneuve said his office looking for facts about the JDL that may justify its dissolution.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday evening, a pro-Israel gathering took place near the Israeli Embassy in Paris. It was organized by the CRIF (the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions).
CRIF President Roger Cukierman told Reuters: “I don’t share, and the CRIF doesn’t share, the ideology or the methods of the JDL.”
“We give a huge notoriety and an exaggerated place to an organization composed of only a few dozen members, which is not even part of the some 70 associations federated in the CRIF,” Cukierman said.
He demanded similar sanctions against pro-Palestinian organizations responsible for anti-Semitic behavior.
On its Twitter account, the JDL wrote that “as long as anti-Semitism exists in France, the JDL will continue to exist. It is a promise.”