TORONTO (Nov. 18)
Leaders of Canadian Jewry yesterday rapped the self-styled Jewish Defense League, an organization that claims to protect Jews and Jewish property in racially tense urban areas. Murray Spiegel, chairman of the National Joint Committee on Community Relations of B’nai B’rith and the Canadian Jewish Congress, said the Jewish community in Canada had no need for JDL intervention and thoroughly disapproved of its methods which he said, have no application to the Canadian scene.
Mr. Spiegel’s statement was prompted by a meeting at Bethel Temple where 160 people were addressed by Meir Kahane, founder and director of the JDL. Mr. Kahane, an Orthodox rabbi, claimed that his organization has 400 members in Montreal who are training for combat at a local armory and 63 paid-up members in Toronto. Stanley Kotick, president of the Bethel Temple Brotherhood, said he supported the Canadian Jewish Congress’ position. He said Rabbi Kahane was invited to speak because he is a controversial figure and can “turn a crowd on.” The JDL was founded by Rabbi Kahane in Brooklyn. It was most recently engaged in a bitter campaign to defeat Mayor John V. Lindsay for reelection on grounds that he abetted anti-Semites.