U.S. Federal Court Indicts JDL Leaders for Hate Crimes at Washington Aipac Conference
Now Toronto published a condensed version of this piece earlier this week.
A U.S. federal district court in Washington DC has indicted two leaders of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), one Canadian and another American. They are accused of committing hate crimes against a Palestinian-American professor and an American Jewish progressive activist during last year’s Aipac conference. Yosef Steynowitz, 32, of Thornhill, Ontario and Rami Lubranicki, 59, of New Jersey are charged with assaulting Kamal Nayfeh, a technical instructor at a North Carolina college; and graduate student, Ben Doernberg, with wooden poles and repeated kicks. They also assaulted Galen Vandergriff in a similar fashion, smashing the video camera he used to record the incident.
The indictment, reads in part:
Yosef Steynovitz, while armed with and having readily available dangerous and deadly weapons…unlawfully assaulted and threatened Kamal Nayfeh in a menacing manner and intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly caused significant bodily injury to Kamal Nayfeh
The Grand Jury Further Charges that such criminal act demonstrated the prejudice of Yosef Steynovitz based on the actual or perceived race, color, or national origin of Kamal Nayfeh. (Assault with Significant Bodily Injury While Armed, Bias-Related (Hate) Crime…
Nayfeh was beaten with a pole and his bloodied face required nine stiches. The assault against Doernberg caused a concussion, which forced the victim to take a medical leave from work.
At the time, JDL chief, Meir Weinstein, alleged that the victims had been the ones who insulted and assaulted the JDL members; and that the latter had acted in defense of themselves and Jewish honor:
“They found out,” says Weinstein in a video, “that it’s not wise to lay not even a finger on any of us. We don’t have any patience for this nonsense any more. Anyone who’s going to try and raise a fist to us, push us and assault us, we would be glad to enforce a citizen’s arrest when there’s some semblance of cooperation from the aggressor. Unfortunately, we had to resort to a certain level of force, and we made it very clear the days of Jews being attacked and being docile are long over.”
There is no evidence that any of the victims engaged in any acts of violence against their attackers. Steynowitz had been due to appear in federal court on January 3rd. Assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Matthew Massey, has agreed to postpone the arraignment to permit Steynowitz more time to make travel arrangements. He will face arraignment on February 13th. Presumably, he will be spending considerable time away from home in DC over the next year or so!
Toronto continues to be a hotbed of anti-Muslim incitement. Last month, the JDL hosted notorious Islamophobe, Pamela Geller, whose Muhammed drawing contest incited two American Muslims to attack the exhibition hall, where they were killed by police. She spoke at the Canada Christian College. It is well-known as an evangelical hotbed of homophobia and Islamophobia. During her harangue, Geller made a number of provocative statements. Among the most bizarre was this quoted in the Torontoist:
Trudeau may be suffering from PTSD because his mother was “out there, on the front pages, with her lady bits out…”
Geller may be the first person who’s ever claimed that nudity induces mental illness.
Tory-darling, Ezra Levant, joined her on stage that night. Video of their exchange is featured on Kevin Johnston’s website. The latter himself has been accused of a hate crime and arrested by Canadian police.
Though local activists and a media outlet asked the government to ban Geller from entering the country due to her propensity for inciting violence (Britain excluded her in 2013), Canadian authorities ignored the complaints.
Weinstein was invited by the City Council to address the issue of preventing hate speech. The body was asked to suppress annual Al Quds Day rallies sponsored by Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, which had in the past allegedly had included chants which were “anti-Semitic and anti-Christian.” He was given a warm welcome by both council member, James Pasternak and Mayor John Tory.
The JDL also incited a physical attack against journalist and free speech activist, Kevin Metcalf at a Toronto anti-M-103 rally on May 6th. While Metcalf was filming the protest, JDL “security director” Zaza Vili and Max Bocknek first menaced, then attacked Metcalf. They also voiced a death threat heard in the video Metcalf recorded:
“We’re not fucking around here. You’re going to get killed.”
The two have been charged with assault by local police.
In separate developments, Twitter has removed the JDL’s account. Facebook has removed the JDL Facebook page and suspended Weinstein’s own Facebook account for thirty days according to the Canadian Jewish News (CJN). The social media platform told CJN that the account had violated the following terms of service:
Under the section titled, “Dangerous Organizations,” the social media outlet said it prohibits organizations or individuals that are engaged in “terrorist activity, organized violence or criminal activity, mass or serial murderers, or organized hate groups.”
Facebook also removes content “that expresses support for groups that are involved in the violent or criminal behaviour. Supporting or praising leaders of those same organizations, or condoning their violent activities, is not allowed.”
19 thoughts on “U.S. Federal Court Indicts JDL Leaders for Hate Crimes at Washington Aipac Conference – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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The scourge of “binary” thinking, Geller incites “islamophobia” by speaking out against “judaeophobia”. There is a middle ground. I also note that “binary options” have just been outlawed in Israel.
@ gefilte: “Judeophobia” is a concocted term piggybacking cynically on a real term & phenomenon, Islamophobia. It also once again conflate Jews and Israel. Not here please.
[comment deleted: don’t like my editorial decisions? Tough. Not your business. Don’t raise these subjects in future.]
@RichardSilverstein read Perednik. Your assertation of conflation is etymologically incorrect.
@ gefilte: Please don’t use big English words you don’t know how to use. And if want to do so do it in Hebrew if that’s your native language. Nor do I even know what you’re talking about. It’s always a good idea to quote whatever word, phrase or passage you’re commenting on.
I wonder what was on the menu at the JDL dinner?
Am I the only one turned on by this psycho chick, Geller? I think it’s the hair and the Brooklyn accent.
@Ed: you have to love women who’ve had a lot of “work” done. I’m not sure if there is any part of her that is “original.”
Breitbart.com, conceived self-admittedly in a room in Tel Aviv with Bibi sitting in it, is a website that breeds open racial and bigoted vitriol willfully along the lines of the Israeli political agenda, yet somehow is subject to none of the prohibitions that rightfully censored, “The Daily Stormer”, by Andrew Anglin.
Pamela Geller is free to convey hate speech there and elsewhere, but rendering factual items that are not in vogue with the Israeli interest, like standing up for Palestinian rights, have been censored openly by Israeli government demand to Zuckerberg and Sandberg’s managed, “Facebook” and “Instagram”, under the false rubric of “incitement towards violence” or “hate speech” likewise (the common “anti-Semite” accusation).
The boundaries of these rights appear to be defined by whether or not you are in a particular “club”, and more so in line with that club’s demands, and one that holds in contempt any other human not “chosen” or going against the same even if righteous or legitimate in complaint.
So long as this club’s supporters play moderator openly, allowing exceptions for this person or that person to do the very things they deny others, and often even worse, while not leveling an equal standard to the “other”, the supremacist structure stays intact.
What is it like being Muslim and watching Hollywood films slowly merge into bearing Muslim villains from Russian villains right around when “True Lies”, starring the seemingly offensively surnamed, “Schwarza-negger”, debuted?
It’s like watching a systematic machine of prejudice, bigotry, contempt, and hatred — the worst of mankind’s vitriol — move from one target to the next. And watching the hatemongers stir the pot while calling others the same labels they actually deserve by Machiavellian projection — in slow motion.
When I turn on much of the supposed “free press” in America’s television venues to see what is being said about world affairs, it is clear whose bias is being projected because the experts of foreign countries, especially those under target also by the open lobbying of AIPAC and the like, always either bear a particular set of surnames, appearances, or work for think tanks and institutions connected to money from the same.
I’m glad this guy got what he deserved, but Pamela Geller and Breitbart are still at it. This anti-Gentilism strikes me as very much the reason much true anti-Semitism in the world exists. That is, those being constantly smeared are not deceived as to who is stigmatizing them and why.
@Soleimani: I was almost ready to call you a liar about that Breitbart story & then I searched & there it was. You are right. I’ll be damned! Bibi wasn’t directly involved. But he certainly would’ve approved had he been asked: http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/11/17/breitbart-news-network-born-in-the-usa-conceived-in-israel/
I’d urge you also to stick to the topic of the blog post. Your comment ranged pretty far afield into other areas not directly tied to the post.
True Lies debuted in 1994, well before 9/11, but only one year after terrorists tried to blow up the World Trade Centre with a truck bomb. True Lies was based on a French comedy, and directed and co-produced by James Cameron.
I’m not sure “the chosen” conspired to make Muslims the villains in True Lies.
‘…What is it like being Muslim and watching Hollywood films slowly merge into bearing Muslim villains from Russian villains…’
Yeah. That certainly happened. I remember. The Soviet empire collapsed, and suddenly, for a certain genre of film, Russians were no longer plausible as villains. The filmmakers actually visibly thrashed around for a while with ‘neo-Nazis’ and ‘KKK members’ and such before hitting upon the much more satisfactory ‘Muslims.’
More broadly, there’s been a visible paradigm shift. The OLD Western stereotype of Muslims was Rudolf Valentino and the Sheik of the Burning Sands et al. It was hardly accurate — but it wasn’t especially derogatory. This culminated in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and seems to have had its last hurrah with ‘The Wind and the Lion’ with Sean Connery as Sheik Raizuli or whatever it was.
Since then, there’s been a discernible effort to blacken the image of Arabs and Muslims generally. There have been films, and revisionist histories, and sudden accesses of concern for the status of Muslim women on the part of the most improbable figures.
It’s all been successful too. One finds oneself realizing that no, one wouldn’t want to let one’s daughter go out with a Muslim. A Jew or a Buddhist, quite alright — but a MUSLIM?
One of the worst thing about lies is that THEY WORK. Just repeat them often enough, and they work. Even as one struggles to disagree, one finds oneself unconsciously incorporating part of the lie into one’s own outlook.
Question: Who are the villains in movies and television programs viewed by Muslim audiences?
Ed: Hasbaroids like YOU, no doubt!
I just wanted to add that I love your site, Richard, and think highly of you. I know many people come here to spew negativity, and often to troll you, so please take this as a positive compliment for your activism and efforts.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Contemplating the reluctance of the New York City Police to interfere as the JDL thugs assaulted their victims, one thinks of Tsarist police standing idle while Ukrainians beat up Jews.
One of the more definite shifts that is going on is that Muslims are becoming the Jews of the new century. Muslims occupy almost precisely the same location Jews did just about a hundred years ago.
…and we’re being firmly frog-marched toward Treblinka, I’ll point out. Nobody wants to see it. After all, the Nazis were bad, and we’re good.
@Colin: it was the DC police, not the NYPD. I think the NYPD would’ve kicked some ass if it had been their jurisdiction. At least I’d like to think so.
Thanks Richard. As usual you are spot on with your articles and analysis. I was there in DC when this happened, marching against AIPAC. Although I didn’t see the attacks by the JDL, I did see them two days later at the Federtal building when Ann Wright pleaded guilty to laughing out loud. As we left to join our colleagues outside, the JDL was hanging around the front of the building, threatening us and the man who had his cameras. It was not a one-off of attacks. They verbally and physically attacked throughout those three days. It was only because we were older women that they didn’t rush us.
Has anyone found any updates on these trials for assault? I read somewhere that Steynovitz’s was supposed to be Feb.21, 2019 but, so far haven’t found anything on it. I participated in this AIPAC protest but apparently left before the assaults happened. Would like to see justice take place.
@ P-Ally: THanks for jogging my memory about this. I did get new information and plan to publish about the case either here or somewhere I may pitch the new piece.