Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) is slated to speak at a dinner hosted by the Jewish Defense League in Canada on Tuesday evening.
The JDL was founded by the late far-right politician MK Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose Kach party was banned in Israel in the late 1980s. Kach was subsequently banned in the United States as well.
Known for its violent activities against Soviet and Arab diplomats in the 1970s, as well as for vigilante activities targeted against anti-Semites and those the group deemed enemies of the Jewish community, the Jewish Defense League is considered out of the mainstream by most Jewish communal bodies.
Feiglin, who began his public life leading the anti-Oslo Zo Artzeinu (This is Our Land) movement, and who subsequently founded the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) organization, is not publicly affiliated with the Kahane movement, although he is on the Right of the political spectrum.
The event is being cosponsored by the JDL and the Toronto Zionist Council.
“Two hundred people are expected to attend the dinner and 500 are expected to attend the community speech,” Manhigut Yehudit international director and longtime Feiglin collaborator Shmuel Sackett told The Jerusalem Post.
“The original request to have Moshe speak was sent by the Toronto Zionist Council only, and it was to be held in Shaarei Tefila [synagogue],” he added, explaining that the event was first planned with no connection to the JDL. “Later, they looked for a co-sponsor and the JDL of Canada agreed.”
Sackett took issue with Canadian and Israeli news reports calling the JDL a banned terrorist organization in Canada, sending this reporter a link to a clip from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in which an anchor apologized for using such terminology.
“This is not the first time this mistake has been made,” Sackett, who has a history of non-violent civil disobedience, said.
Canada’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the “advocacy arm of the Jewish Federations of Canada,” declined to comment on Feiglin’s upcoming appearance.