For the second time in less than a year, Facebook has removed the Jewish Defence League (JDL) of Canada’s profile page.
The page was taken down Nov. 27, after an administrator of the page posted a photo of Rabbi Meir Kahane, who founded the Jewish Defense League and was assassinated in a Manhattan hotel by an Arab gunman in 1990.
“It looks like something you posted doesn’t follow our community standards,” the social media giant explained in a message to the JDL’s Canadian director and Meir Weinstein, one of the page’s administrators.
Weinstein told The CJN he was also suspended from Facebook for 30 days.
Asked for an explanation, Facebook Canada spokesperson Meg Sinclair sent The CJN a link to the company’s “community standards.” She declined to elaborate.
“This section of our community standards will provide more information on why the Jewish Defence League page has been removed from Facebook,” Sinclair said.
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.”
Canada added Kach, the far-right Israeli political party founded by Rabbi Kahane, and Kahane Chai, a breakaway group, to its list of terrorist organizations in 2005. Israel has also outlawed both groups.
In an oft-cited report from the early 2000s, the FBI in the United States branded the JDL a “right-wing terrorist group” and as “violent” and “extremist.” No such designation has been given by Canadian authorities.
Facebook scrubbed the JDL’s Canadian page last February, when it also cited its community standards policy on “dangerous organizations.”
At the time, Sinclair would not say why Facebook regarded JDL Canada as a dangerous organization.
The JDL later put up a new page called the “New Jewish Defence League.”
Weinstein was unconcerned with the JDL’s latest exile from Facebook.
“We still have Twitter and email. The main thing is, the word gets out regardless of what Facebook does,” he said.
He accused the social media company of “a certain bias,” and vowed that a new JDL page would be put up soon.
In the meantime, the JDL’s Toronto chapter and the group ACT! for Canada are being taken to task for planning to screen a film that’s been denounced as anti-Islamic.
The film, Killing Europe, was previously scheduled to be screened at the Ottawa Public Library on Nov. 25, but was cancelled after protests by residents and local anti-racist and labour groups.
Critics have charged that the film promotes hated against Muslims and immigrants.
In an interview, Ottawa city councillor and library board member Catherine McKenney said, “We will not rent venue to groups promoting discrimination against a group, and this showing clearly contravenes our existing policy.… We must take a stand against this hateful and intolerant content.”
The Toronto screening is slated for Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Toronto Zionist Council’s office, which is located at 788 Marlee Ave. The film’s producer, Michael Hansen, is scheduled to attend.