By Asa Winstanley / ElectronicIntifada.Net
The Canadian branch of the Jewish Defense League has threatened to “confront” and “derail” a conference on Christian Zionism this weekend.
The comments, made on the extremist organization’s website, raise the specter of anti-Palestinian street violence, something the JDL is synonymous with.
Taking place in Vancouver, this weekend’s conference is titled “Seeking the Peace of Jerusalem: Overcoming Christian Zionism in the Quest for Justice” and is organized by Canadian Friends of Sabeel (Sabeel is a Palestinian liberation theology group).
Its featured speaker include Christian clergy and Jewish rabbis, as well as Palestinian and Israeli human rights advocates and journalists.
Palestinian activist Yafa Jarrar, one of the speakers at the conference, has been particularly singled out for racist attacks and threats of violence by the JDL Canada.
Yafa is the daughter of leftist Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar, who Israeli occupation forces earlier this month ordered detained for six months without charge or trial.
JDL Canada has slandered the event as a “terror recruitment conference” and Jarrar and her family as not “indigenous ‘Palestinians’” (the scare quotes are used because the JDL refuses to recognize the right of Palestinians to exist).
Yarrar told The Electronic Intifada over the phone from Vancouver that the JDL has as long history of violent threats, racism and harassment against Palestinian activists in Canada: “They have been advocating for violence, and armed violence against anybody who speaks out in criticism of Israel.”
Jarrar, who lives in Canada, said the JDL has been harassing them “since we started doing BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] work in Canada back in 2005.” They would “come to all the events in full force, threatening to attack the speakers. So we ended [up] with every single talk and event … packed with police to protect us,” she explained.
In 2006, a branch of the Canadian Union of Public Employees in Ontario “had their annual conference in Windsor where they passed a resolution to encourage their members to research the academic boycott of Israel. So I was speaking at that conference,” said Jarrar.
The JDL “bussed their people [in] from Toronto to Windsor, booked rooms in the same hotel … and they were basically bullying and attacking us throughout the conference to a point where we couldn’t leave any room without a security guard. I had to be actually taken to my bedroom … accompanied by a security guard or a police officer.”
The US branch of the JDL was branded a terrorist organization by the FBI, after a campaign of anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic bombings there.
JDL Canada’s leader Meir Weinstein is also a known associate of JDL UK’s Roberta Moore, who was in February found guilty in London of possession of an offensive weapon and two counts of assault at a Palestinian literary festival.
In this photo, Weinstein is seen alongside Moore and Moshe Feiglin, a top Israeli political leader notorious for advocating genocide in Gaza last summer.
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