Now that they have clarified, lets move on. It is a long read, so I put it in over here in Special Report
(This was written after the EDL leadership dismissed Roberta Moore, leader of the EDL’s Jewish Division some weeks ago)
Taken Straight from their Webpage:
In recent weeks there has been a great deal of speculation about the EDL’s position on Israel, and the role that the EDL Jewish Division has played in determining our direction.
The following statement is intended to set the record straight. The statement was prepared by the EDL Editorial Team according to the wishes of the leadership, and has been fully approved by EDL Joint-Leader Kevin Carroll.
We do not believe it would be appropriate to single out any individuals involved in recent events, and believe it to be in everyone’s interests that any further concerns be communicated privately.
EDL Editorial Team
We wish to make this as clear as it can be:
We support Israel’s right to exist, and we support Israel’s right to defend itself.
But there is no reason why we cannot continue to support Israel whilst still being fully committed to halting the advance of radical Islam in our own country.
We support Israel, but England will always come first.
We will never risk the future of the EDL by pursuing an agenda that has little to do with the realities facing our country, and which would, quite rightly, do a great deal to jeopardise our cause.
The English Defence League also has the right to defend itself, and we will not allow the interests of a small minority override the concerns of the majority of our supporters.
Our focus is on England. It always has been and it always will be.
In many ways there are parallels to be drawn between the radicalisation that has infected the Palestinians and their supporters and the radicalisation that continues to breed in British Mosques. In this way at least, the people of England and the people of Israel have a great deal in common.
Whatever we may think of the conflict, the people of Israel face the threat of Islam-inspired terrorism every single day. With the possible exception of other Muslims, it is the Jewish people that have suffered more than anyone else at the hands of radical Islam. Even in the UK prominent Muslim organisations continue to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day, preferring instead to attend Al Quds Day marches, where they publicly support proscribed terrorist organisations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, celebrate tyrants like Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, or support pariah Islamic states with appalling human rights records. And in European nations wherever there are increases in the Muslim population, so too are there increases in the number of antisemitic incidents reported.
The war against radical Islam has no borders, even if Israel is the front line of the battle. It is an international problem, and it would be foolish of us not to ally ourselves with like-minded individuals and organisations across the world. Already, we have seen supporters from all over the world travel to this country to stand side by side with us at our demonstrations. We are thankful for their support, and have reciprocated by joining the demonstration against the Ground Zero Mosque and attending La Marche des Cochons.
We should not be afraid to show solidarity with ordinary people who are continuing to suffer at the hands of radical Islam, wherever they may be. Wherever there are Muslims who support a hostile, aggressive, 7th century interpretation of Islam, we will do what we can to aid those who are working to defeat it – be they Christian, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Americans, Europeans, Brits, Israelis – whoever they are.
In combating the global jihad, we find that we have friends in many distant lands, and that our goals often coincide. Radical Islam may regard the USA as the ‘Great Satan’, but at the root of the conflict is their view that Islam must come to dominate Judeo-Christian civilisation. The global ‘war on terror’ that followed the September 11th attacks was not simply aimed at defending the USA and her allies, but at defeating those who so despise the Judeo-Christian heritage that defines the Western World. It is therefore no wonder that following the fallout from the September 11th attacks many Western nations learned a great deal from Israel – a country with extensive experience of dealing with the realities of terrorism.
If Israel succumbs to the forces of radical Islam and the proponents of Sharia then the “only working democracy in the Middle East” will fall. The impact of such a thing would be felt across the world, and would massively embolden those who hate the freedoms we enjoy in the Western world. It is in all our interests that the nation on the front line of the battle against radical Islam should not fall.
However, our immediate concern will always be with the impact that radical Islam is having at home. Whilst we have a great number of international friends and supporters, and have done our bit to help inspire the establishment of many national defence leagues around the world, our principle concern has always been representing the people that make up our membership – the people of England.
We therefore refuse to be drawn into alliances with individuals or organisations who in their laudable defence of Israel overstep the boundaries of what we believe to be legitimate and reasonable. Extremism cannot be fought with extremism.
The decision made by individuals within the EDL Jewish Division to ally themselves with the JTF (Jewish Task Force), an organisation whose leader, Victor Vancier, was imprisoned on terrorism charges, was made without the authority of the EDL Leadership, and we have ensured that all ties have been severed with that organisation. Israel itself has proscribed the JTF as a terrorist organisation, and Vancier has been recorded making incredibly offensive and inflammatory statements about black people, Christians, and homosexuals. This could hardly be further from the objectives and beliefs of the English Defence League, and it is hugely disappointing that in the fallout of this sorry episode a small number of Jewish Division members saw fit to make personal attacks on members of the EDL Support Group for criticising their decision to align themselves with known extremists.
We once again wish to make it entirely clear that we never have and never will support any individuals or organisations that advocate violence, be it in defence of the Jewish people or in order to advance any other cause (including, of course, attacks against Muslims). Whilst we acknowledge the difference between a non-violent approach and total pacifism, we maintain that the only time violence can be justified is in immediate self-defence, and subject to the laws of the land. We believe that the JTF’s stance and the personal example of its leader go well beyond this. Our commitment has always been to peaceful protest, and we will never do anything to undermine this.
Following these disagreements the leader of the EDL Jewish Division decided to step down and leave both the Jewish Division and the EDL. Our objectives were clearly not the same.
We of course recognise the value of listening to people with different viewpoints, and we certainly respect those who have a genuine commitment to helping to defeat the spread of radical Islam – whoever they may be, and wherever they are in the world. But this does mean that we are willing to turn a blind eye to other forms of extremism. For example, back in December of last year, controversial US pastor Terry Jones enquired about the possibility of speaking at an EDL demonstration. Somehow, the media got wind of this and, quite inaccurately, reported that we had agreed.
The reasons why we did not wish to invite the pastor to speak at one of our demonstrations was made clear at the time – and, in some cases, was accurately reported in the press. Not only do we believe that burning the Qur’an is wrong (and sends out completely the wrong message), but we also believe that it would be wrong to provide a platform to anyone who, like Victor Vancier of the JTF, has made incredibly offensive and intolerant statements about homosexuality. We also certainly do not wish to be associated with a man who has known links to the Westboro Baptist Church – an organisation which, amongst other things, pickets the funerals of US service personnel.
Regardless of all the possible disagreements and positions that people can take on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, no one could possibly claim that any objection that they might have to US or UK involvement in these conflicts could justify taunting the mourning families of those who have lost their lives.
Likewise, although there is certainly a great deal of disagreement within the EDL about the situation in Israel, even an EDL member who might happen to be incredibly critical of Israel would never claim that such a view could justify any mistreatment of Jewish people, or their exclusion from the EDL. In fact, members of the Jewish community have long been an important and integral part of the EDL – and so they shall remain.
The actions of a small minority of individuals should not be seen to sully the reputation of the majority of the EDL’s Jewish supporters, whose commitment to the objectives of the EDL is not in doubt. We would never think of censoring open debate by failing to permit criticism of Israel, but we will continue to be vigilant against infiltration by those who hold antisemitic views.
Unlike organisations such as the UAF or BNP, whose antisemitism is often plain to see, the only evidence ever produced to accuse the EDL of holding such views has been gathered from Facebook – hardly the most compelling of evidence. Why would anyone who does hold antisemitic views join an organisation that has always made clear its support for Israel and which has flown the Star of David since its earliest demonstrations?
The small number of people who have made antisemitic comments whilst falsely purporting to represent the EDL are either grossly misinformed about the nature of the movement, wish to undermine our progress, or suffer from the delusion that the EDL can be steered away from its commitment to opposing all forms of extremism. The BNP, recognising our genuine commitment to continue to be a multi-racial, multi-ethnic and diverse organisation, have threatened to kick out any of their members who might decide to join the EDL.
As well as representing a diverse range of viewpoints, we aim to represent people of every ethnicity, every religion, every political persuasion, and every social class. Radical Islam only discriminates between radical Muslims and everyone else (including ordinary Muslims) – and so should we.
We could not fulfill this commitment if we were to favour any one group of people over everyone else. Our Mission Statement makes clear that we need to protect and promote the human rights of everyone – regardless of who they are. We will continue to allow people to found specialist EDL divisions that reflect their own particular religious or other views, but we will not allow these groups to dictate what it is we believe, or what it is that the EDL exists to do. Our stance will not change. We will not allow anyone who claims to represent the EDL distort our Mission Statement or undermine the unity that has made the English Defence League the world’s leading Counter-Jihad protest movement.
It is disingenuous, offensive and intellectually corrupt to mistake the views and actions of individuals from the views and actions of the EDL. We will continue to promote diversity of opinion whilst at the same time ensuring that we actively oppose those who challenge the fundamental rights and freedoms that we wish to see protected. It is therefore incredibly disappointing that certain members of the wider Counter-Jihad have taken our decision to distance ourselves from individuals who would put our motives in question as evidence that people with more extreme views were exercising their influence. The charge that the EDL is sheltering antisemites or Nazis (an accusation made by a few blogs) is as ridiculous as it is offensive. We would have hoped that those with extensive experience of having their efforts undermined by those who would wish to misrepresent their motives would not have been so quick to jump to conclusions.
We do not believe that it would be in anyone’s interest to publish details of private conversations, accusations, or some of the more odious things that have been posted on the Internet. Suffice to say, we believe it is more important to judge an organisation on the contribution that it makes and on its proven successes than on unfounded accusations and slurs. Luckily, there are some in the public eye who recognise exactly that. But there are far too many people who in unthinkingly repeat an accusation, give it far more credence than it ever deserved.
This is exactly what has happened with the accusation of Nazism. Very, very few people subscribe to a view that could fairly be compared to Nazism, and yet organisations such as the UAF still manage to see Nazis everywhere they look.
The accusation that the English Defence League subscribes to any views that could be regarded as fascist, racist or neo-Nazi is hurtful, disrespectful, and completely untrue. We are fed up with defending ourselves against these baseless accusations. However, the continuous lies from the far Left and from certain sections of mainstream media do little except to advertise the EDL to those who do actually hold these kinds of views. We must therefore continue to refute these baseless claims, if only to make clear to people who do hold these kinds of views that the EDL is not the place for them.
That is why we made a very clear visual statement right back in the early days of the movement:
That Nazis are not welcome in the EDL is a point that we have returned to time and time again. No wonder members of the notorious white supremacist forum Stormfront despise the EDL, calling us “traitors to the cause” for rejecting their racist ideas. Here’s a story from back in 2009 showing what happened when racists from Combat 18 confronted EDL members who were drinking with a group of Muslims:
EDL members meeting with Muslims are attacked by neo-Nazis
We have done a great deal more to fight these kinds of ideologies than any of the so-called ‘anti-fascist’ organisations that do such a good job of turning a blind eye to the Islamofascism that continues to breed unopposed in our towns and cities.
No EDL member has ever been arrested for a Nazi salute whilst attending an EDL demo – but a member of the UAF has!
Despite this, and despite our most vocal opponents contributing little to the debate aside from repetitive name-calling, the accusations keep on coming. We continue to hear that we’re racists, fascists, or Islamophobes. We continue to be condemned for allegedly being exactly the sort of people we work hard to oppose. The only difference is that we go beyond name-calling, and actually work to make a difference to our communities. We educate our members, we lobby politicians and the media, and we look to a better future – a future where we can be better assured that our fundamental rights and freedoms are being safeguarded by the people we have elected to represent us.
UAF Protester Fined For Nazi Salute
Where is the positive vision from the UAF? All we ever hear is how they’re going to “smash” us! Of course, the positive vision doesn’t exist. Why? Because it’s easier to call people names than it is to consider their arguments and try to determine how we can overcome the problems that blight our communities and cause us all to live under constant terror warnings.
It’s also easier to understand conflicts by looking at old divisions than it is to be prepared to understand new realities. We are not the National Front, we are not the BNP – nor have we ever been. We are not looking for people to blame, we are looking for solutions. Angrily calling us Nazis because we dare to think our country is worth defending amounts to little more than shooting the messenger.
And that is dangerous.
The more you suppress specific criticism of an ideology, the easier it becomes for that ideology to be completely insulated from any criticism. The more you define critics of Islam, or critics of the government’s approach to radical Islam, as Islamophobes, the more you encourage ordinary Muslims into inaction. No one wants British Muslims to be victimised because of the growing influence of the radicals within their communities – but they should at least feel the imperative to start taking serious action to expel the radicals and determine what needs to change to ensure peaceful integration rather than purposeful segregation and the hostility and misunderstanding that results.
The more the media, the government, and the so-called anti-fascists claim that the EDL is a Nazi organisation, the more they encourage segregation, because this encourages the view that the concerns of ordinary people are born of prejudice and are not worth addressing.
This could not be further from the truth. The people of this country are a tolerant people. The unprecedented success of the EDL as a street movement is not an indication that people have become less tolerant, but that the government has increasingly started to demand that we tolerate the intolerable.
Unlike fascist ideologies, we value each and every person as an individual. We are therefore understandably hostile to any ideology that threatens fundamental human rights, or which wishes to politicise the idea of ‘Allah’s will’ so that it governs every element of a person’s life, whether they believe in Islam or not.
We believe that each individual should be able to choose to live in accordance with the teachings of a religion should he or she wish, but that religion should never be a force of oppression or the justification to take human life.
That is how you defeat radical Islam – by challenging that part of its ideology that denies the sanctity of life and which preaches submission to draconian laws – laws which violate the fundamental rights and freedoms upon which our country depends on for its very existence.
To defend what we have, to defend what we so often take for granted, and to do so with utmost respect for the rights of the individual – that is not the hallmark of Nazism, it is the exact opposite – it is the prime objective of the English Defence League.
First and foremost we exist to give a voice to ordinary people. Ordinary people who do not have people speaking up for them. Ordinary people who see the problems with Islam all too clearly, but have been let down by politicians. Ordinary people who are constantly robbed of the opportunity to help safeguard their communities and their country.
We will never forget why England needs its Defence League.
Much has changed since we were founded in 2009, but we have stayed true to our founding principles. We are now as we were then – a non-violent, anti-racist and anti-Nazi national movement, dedicated to defeating a threat that our government is so unwilling to address that it can barely speak its name.
In households across the country radical Islam passed the dinner table test many years ago – it is on everyone’s lips except the government’s.
It is a fascination for many who have not yet experienced it firsthand. And for those who have, it is a threat made more real by the silence of the government, the media, the Muslim Community, and those who those who brush aside the problem as the result of ‘Islamophobia’.
Modern-day Nazis are not draped in the flag of their country. Their interest is not with nations, nor is it with races – it is with religion. They carry the black flag of the Islamic Caliphate – like the ones flown when they burnt poppies during the Remembrance Day two minutes silence.
The modern-day Nazis are the Islamofascists – the radical Muslims who want to impose their religion on you and me, who want to subjugate women, and who want to remove our laws and replace them with the Sharia.
Our message to the modern-day Nazis is exactly the same as our message to those who believe in the twisted ideology of Nazi-Germany: our forefathers fought to protect our freedoms and our country, and we will never dishonour their sacrifice.
Now, as it was then, we are lucky in that we can count on the support of friends and allies from around the world. Britain has long been a stepping stone between the powers of Europe and America, and we are uniquely placed to help bring together people from either side of the Atlantic in order to respond to a truly global threat.
Nazi Germany was defeated not only because of the bravery and resolve of previous generations, but because of the unity that helped ensure that everyone who fought on the side of freedom never had cause to doubt the strength of their convictions.
As Tommy has said many times, Nazism and Islamism are two sides of the same coin. Like any aggressive ideology, radical Islam thrives on division. As soon as we forget our shared values, the fundamental rights and freedoms that we all too often take for granted, we forget what it is that we are fighting for – the liberal democratic ideals upon which modern Britain was built, and upon which its future depends.
We are the English Defence League, and we will stand firm – because we know who we are, and we know what it is we defend.