The English Defence League is a large, inclusive, and relatively informal organization. These characteristics leave it open to misuse by other groups whose agendas diverge from the primary goal of the EDL, which is to resist the Islamization of England.
EDL members are often accused of being “neo-Nazis” or “fascists”, and the press have taken great care to publicize photos of sieg-heiling skinheads and EDL banners paired with swastika flags. Such images — whether they represent the work of UAF infiltrators or fringe groups eager to subvert the EDL — have nothing to do with the EDL or the opinions of its members.
At the other extreme, the EDL is often said to be “Zionist”. So which is it, boys? Nazi or Zionist? Can’t have it both ways, you know.
The latest controversy concerns a purported alliance between the EDL and an extremist organization known the Jewish Task Force. The EDL is determined to dispel the rumors: no such alliance exists, nor has it ever existed.
Here’s what Aeneas has to say about this tempest in a teapot at the International Civil Liberties Alliance website:
The English Defence League And The Jewish Task Force Have Not Made An Alliance
There has been much speculation recently about whether the EDL entered into some sort of alliance with a group called the Jewish Task Force (JTF). As someone who has found himself featured specifically in the discussions on this subject I thought it important that I give an account of what really happened from my perspective.
In April 2010 representatives of the English Defence League and representatives of the International Civil Liberties Alliance drove to Berlin to support the demonstration, held on 17 April, that had been organised in support of Geert Wilders.
The International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA) is a keen supporter of Israel’s right to exist and is very concerned about rising antisemitism in Western Europe. A member of the Jewish Task Force was there but no formal talks took place between the English Defence League and the Jewish Task Force with regard to creating a formal alliance.
As ICLA is keen to champion the cause of Israel, I as one of its representatives in Berlin engaged the JTF representative in friendly conversation. Of course, it is impossible to know the background of every single organisation in demonstrations or the past activities of members of such organisations. During the Berlin visit I was representing ICLA and I thought it important to engage with others who were obviously working tirelessly in support of the emerging global Counterjihad movement. No formal alliances were made during the Berlin demonstration between the EDL and the JTF, or between ICLA and the JTF.
The same JTF supporter was present at the Amsterdam demonstration held on 30 October 2010. Again, I recognised him and said hello and agreed to be photographed with him. Individuals who are willing to travel across Europe in the service of the Counterjihad cause deserve respect and consideration. Again, no formal alliances were entered into either at the demonstration or at events surrounding the demonstration. In fact at Amsterdam, due to security considerations, the EDL leadership were only there for a short period of time before being whisked away.
Finally in Luton the now familiar JTF supporter attended the highly successful demonstration on 5 February 2010. Again, I said hello and had a brief chat as he had obviously travelled some distance to attend. Again I can point out that, as far as I am aware, no formal alliances were entered into. People come together in solidarity at these demonstrations and a friendly towards others engaged in the cause. Photographs are taken, videos are made, but the presence of a supporter of an organisation does not imply that some formal alliance has been entered into.
The EDL has subsequently made it quite clear that it has not and does not want to enter into an alliance with the Jewish Task Force. I am able to confirm, that in terms of what I have personally witnessed and being involved with, this is indeed the case. In terms of what I have witnessed there has been no formal alliance between the EDL and the JTF, or indeed between ICLA and the JTF.
I hope that all parties involved in this misunderstanding can now move on.
This and other issues are covered in more detail at the EDL website:
Setting a few things straight…
Most people will be aware that recent events have shown that there have been ‘certain elements’ within the English Defence League who claim to be fighting in order to further our cause, but have actually been doing a great deal to damage our reputation.
Some relatively prominent EDL faces have claimed to be working “for the good of the EDL” when taking it upon themselves to make decisions that have not been approved by the leadership. As a result of this egotistical, delusional and downright selfish attitude, they have risked causing irreparable damage to our legitimate fight against radical Islam.
We owe it to the survival of our movement to make it very clear to all and sundry what the EDL is about, and not let that message be represented by our critics, the media, or the over-inflated egos of some of our own members.
Selfish idiocy has culminated in a lot of upset. Upset that has spread through the English Defence League membership, through divisions, through regions and ultimately to those who have worked tirelessly to support the leadership. Tommy and Kev are the founders of this great movement against radical Islam, and that must always be respected!
So, without further ado, let us deal with a few ongoing issues to set the record straight once and for all, that way the EDL will become stronger and more resolute for it.
The English Nationalist Alliance, and their leader “Bill Baker”, have, in no uncertain terms, been told to take their party politics elsewhere. Bill Baker is not welcome at any EDL event.
For far too long this parasite of a man has dragged us down by claiming to speak as an authoritative member of the EDL, whilst actually being nothing of the sort. He has been attempting to exploit our success and our genuine intentions. He is an embarrassment not only to himself and his party, but also to those who don’t see him for what he is: an opportunist.
Some time ago he decided to engage in a televised debate with a Muslim convert that was then publicised all over the internet. This appearance was not sanctioned by the EDL leadership, it was a decision he made entirely on his own initiative. Although we’ll acknowledge that he did make a few valid points, he ultimately made a complete fool of himself. We do not appreciate our name being blackened with racist connotations, so we always have to be wary of being judged guilty by association. So we want to make it clear: Bill Baker does not speak for us.
To further compound and exacerbate this situation it has come to light that Bill Baker has links with Nazi groups like Combat 18 and Redwatch. The EDL want nothing to do with such groups. We did not burn a Nazi flag only to get caught up and tainted with the disgusting beliefs of National Socialists. In fact, we have long campaigned against these dinosaurs of an era that history wishes to forget. We do not want to give these dark forces the means to rise up and use the success of our movement to carry something just as depraved and supremacist as Islamism into the 21st century.
Our fathers and our forefathers fought against the tyrannical supremacy of these kind of people in the second world war…..
We can’t and we won’t dishonour their memory, their legacy, their struggle and their sacrifice by jumping into bed with a convenient devil, not now, not ever. We are much, much better than that!
LEST WE FORGET!
So, it’s worth stressing again: Bill Baker and the ENA are not welcome at any EDL event. Stop jumping on our bandwagon. You disgrace real Nationalism and Patriotism. You defile and defame our righteous battle by linking with dark forces: you are part of the problem, certainly not part of any solution!
Unfortunately, Bill Baker is not alone. We’ve also have had some much-talked-about issues recently with prominent members of the English Defence League’s Jewish Division.
We made it perfectly clear in a previous statement that we can’t and we won’t ever affiliate with the Jewish Task Force, yet certain individuals thought they could ‘force through’ an affiliation with these known terrorists. A truly imbecilic move if there ever was one! We have good reasons not to wish to cooperate with the JTF – yet some people seem to think they know better.
How can we claim to be fighting against terrorism and at the same time affiliate with known terrorists? This kind of irresponsible stupidity brings its own dangers; it not only makes the EDL look like some kind of duplicitous, conniving and hypocritical outfit, it makes us lose sight of who and what we are, what we strive to be, and most importantly we stand to lose the moral high ground.
So, sorry Roberta Moore of the EDL Jewish Division — but we don’t approve of your discussions with the JTF. We hope that this was just an error in judgement, but we feel forced to publicise your actions because you have as yet failed to admit to this error, and have instead criticised those who have been forced to renounce the JTF for you.
Sure, we don’t claim to be perfect, we never have, we have made mistakes and mis-judgements in the past, we have not always looked into the backgrounds of different individuals who eagerly get involved and support the EDL. If anything, we’ve been too trusting – of people, and of their motives. One such example is that of the somewhat infamous Pastor Jones (of Quran burning fame). Sure he would have brought publicity to our cause, but it would have been the wrong kind of publicity!
Ignorance and naivety made way for media attention when the complete opposite should have applied. We should have been more astute, we should have known what this individual stood for and against before to talking with the press about it. Alas we did not, we made a mistake — but we did atone for it. Once Pastor Jones’s background became known to us we made a full retraction of support, we absolutely could not associate with such a man. The damage was done in the short term, but in the longer term people come to realise that we did the right thing for the movement.
We ask our members to do the same again and have faith in our leadership!
Unfortunately because of this farcical JTF ‘involvement’ story, we again have to send a very clear and resolute message to those who wish to drag our mission through the mud:
Take your agenda elsewhere, it is not wanted, and it is not needed. We will continue on a righteous path, one of clarity, and one of morality rather than hypocrisy. This battlefield is littered with mines and you have laid more than your fair share. We will not allow you to lay anymore!
What is truly astounding is that when we expose those who would wish to exploit the EDL, we get called Antisemites, Nazis, BNP, etc, etc — all sorts of incredulous and fallacious drivel. Yes, these people are attracted to the EDL, but we work incredibly hard to expose and expel them. It would be nice if the average mosque were so effective. Exposing Nazis, booting them out, and repeatedly denouncing their views (to the media, and to our own members), does not make us the Nazis!
Not only is it disingenuous and damn right offensive to claim otherwise, it is a complete fabrication, a distortion of fact, and a propagation of fiction rather than fact.
We support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish homeland and Israel’s right to defend itself. Now that’s hardly a sentiment shared by Antisemites, National Socialists or a faction of the BNP Holocaust-denying community is it?
Now of course we recognise that not every BNP member or support is some kind of raving racist lunatic. People certainly vote for them because they don’t believe that there is any other option to tackle Islamism (amongst other somewhat forgivable reasons). But what we want to make clear is that we are that other option. We can effectively pressure all political parties to do more to face up to the threat we face, and the problems in our local communities. And we can do that in a non-racist, patriotic way.
To claim that we’re exactly the same as the BNP, or that we hold the same beliefs as certain extremists, is incredibly counterproductive. Misrepresenting the views of people who are dedicated to peacefully protesting against radical Islam, and who are working to educate both ourselves and the wider public about the nature of the threat, doesn’t help anyone…. except the radicals.
Doing nothing about the extremists that are constantly trying to hijack our cause would be like shooting ourselves in the foot. It would be like setting out to defeat an extremist ideology, only to succumb to the influence of another.
No, that won’t be happening. Not on our watch!
The EDL is for everyone, regardless of colour or creed. It is not for people to promote their special interests or their party political beliefs. It’s about something bigger. It’s about unity in the face of radical Islam.
Continuing to tell people that we’re racists or Nazis only makes racists or Nazis more likely to want to support us! Of course, racists and Nazis will quickly discover that there’s no place for them in the EDL. But why would anyone want to suggest there is? It seems like purposeful deceit, and we refuse to have any respect for that. We’re not these things that we’re accused of being. And we’ll continue saying that. But we refuse to be expected to continually prove that we don’t subscribe to the extreme views of the very people that we want to exclude. You wouldn’t demand that a Muslim prove that he or she is not an extremist – so don’t expect it of members of the EDL!
So, one last time — we can’t and won’t affiliate with the JTF; that is set in stone. It is a matter of fact, not fiction. And if people don’t like it then they are free to leave.
Having said that, we do understand why some Jews have taken militant action against their oppressors. But we can’t and we won’t share a platform with such people, because our belief is in non-violent protest. We are working to combat terrorists and their known affiliates, and we can’t do that by sinking to their level.
The English Defence League will stand up to the plate and we will be counted, even if that means turning our back on those who think they can punch over their weight and run roughshod over our legitimate cause.
Real EDL members put the cause above their own egos. They respect the role played by the leadership, and consult with them when necessary. They pool together, they work as a team, they work for everyone.
REAL EDL are in this for the long haul!
REAL EDL are in this for the right reasons!
REAL EDL are going to take our country back!
Stay true, stay strong, and be vigilant, for there are forces at play who want us finished.
Let’s not give them that chance. Not now, not ever.