Jewish Defence League network

Content Jewish Defence League of Canada Ligue de Défense Juive (LDJ) (Jewish Defence League)  Jewish Defence League of Canada National Director: Meir Weinstein The Jewish…

Minute Read
Close Chapter
Expand Chapter Close Chapter
Chapter : Jewish Defence League network


Jewish Defence League of Canada

Ligue de Défense Juive (LDJ) (Jewish Defence League) 

Jewish Defence League of Canada

National Director: Meir Weinstein

The Jewish Defence League of Canada is the Canadian arm of the Jewish Defence League (JDL) which was established in 1968 by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane (1932-1975). The group has been described by the FBI as “a known violent extremist Jewish organization”. It holds demonstrations and counter-protests at anti-Israel events. Its anti-Muslim position has led to it building numerous links with key counter-jihad activists.

In January 2010 the group organised a solidarity rally for Geert Wilders in Toronto and in 2011 it held a support rally for the English Defence League (EDL) that included a speech by then leader Stephen Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) via Skype. In December 2015 Robert Spencer addressed the JDL in Toronto.

In May 2017 Canadian Jewish News reported that the Canadian JDL had partnered with the Canadian branch of the street movement, Soldiers of Odin.

The Canadian JDL remains active both online and off, most recently with a protest in Toronto in October 2017 and their hosting of Pamela Geller in Toronto in December 2017 to discuss her 2017 film ‘Can’t’ We Talk About This?’.

Back to top

CC BY-SA 3.0

Ligue de Défense Juive (LDJ) (Jewish Defence League)

Notable members: Anthony Attal, leader until 2009. Avichai Philippe Wagner, head of the JDL in 2009-2011. Joseph Ayache Alias Yossi Ayache Leader 2011-2014.

Current: Jean-Claude Nataf (Aliases: Yitzhak Rayman, Michael Carlisle, Eliyahu Tubiana, Old).

LDJ is the French branch of a neo-Zionist movement founded in New York in 2001. It is believed to have between 100-300 members.

The organisation has been classified in the USA as a terrorist organisation following mosque attacks and plans to attack a member of Congress, whilst its sister movement Kach has been banned by the Israeli government.

A virulently anti-Arab militant group, the LDJ operates freely in France. Its membership has grown over recent years, in line with the war in Gaza, the increase in antisemitic attacks in France and the kosher shop siege outside east Paris in January 2015.

The LDJ is made up almost entirely of young men, with most activity contained in the cities of Paris and Lyon. Since it was established in 2001 several supporters have been charged with over 100 accounts of physical aggression and assault, including an attack on high school students and vandalism of a pro-Palestine Parisian bookstore. There have been increasingly violent clashes with pro-Palestine protesters and the LDJ. One of its founders Jean-Claude Nataf is known to have links to both the Front National and Bloc Identitaire.

In July 2014, two members of the LDJ were imprisoned for a bomb attack against a Jewish anti-Zionist blogger. In early 2015, the organisation called to protest against “Islamization” alongside Pegida France, which attempted to emulate the German movement Pegida. A significant blow to the movement came in March 2016 after Parisian members were sentenced for attacking two French nationals of Maghreb origin in April 2009.

Despite an active website and social media, the LDJ has been largely inactive on the streets since 2016. The group’s Facebook account had more than 1,400 Likes as of January 2018.

Back to top


Stay informed

Sign up for emails from HOPE not hate to make sure you stay up to date with the latest news, and to receive simple actions you can take to help spread HOPE.


We couldn't do it without our supporters

Fund research, counter hate and support and grow inclusive communities by donating to HOPE not hate today

I am looking for...


Useful links

Close Search X
Donate to HOPE not hate