As most readers know, a huge controversy arose early last month after spurious charges of “neo-fascist infiltration” were aimed at the English Defence League. These false allegations prompted an open letter from various supporters of the EDL asking for an apology and the retraction of the charges. The publication of the letter engendered further controversy.
The EDL has just posted a statement further clarifying their position on these issues. This new account refutes the ridiculous assertion that Tommy Robinson’s earlier statement could in any way constitute an admission that there had been “neo-fascists” within the leadership of the English Defence League.
There was no such admission. There weren’t any “fascists” in the leadership, and there never had been.
Those false allegations prompted the “hope that genuine anti-jihadists in Britain will also leave the EDL” — apparently a blatant call for the dismemberment of the leading grassroots European anti-sharia group. Those allegations had never had any basis in fact.
The “proof” adduced for the statement that “neo-fascists that had infiltrated the administration of the group” consisted of the following:
- An EDL member was expelled last fall for expressing support for (or quoting from, I’m not sure which) The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
- Someone on the EDL’s office staff (not in the leadership) “liked” a Facebook post made by someone else that contained a negative reference to the heavy focus on Zionism.
As “evidence”, this is an abject failure.
In the wake of what happened on July 22 in Oslo, it should be clear how damaging and irresponsible it is to level charges of “neo-fascism” at other groups within our movement on the basis of such non-evidence. In today’s toxic atmosphere of post-Breivik political correctness, such spurious charges can only do grave harm to the dedicated and courageous patriots of the English Defence League.
To recap the facts:
|1.||There were no “neo-fascists” in the leadership of the English Defence League, and no one at any level who showed any signs of such sympathies was allowed to remain in the organization. Furthermore, there is a great likelihood that all overt “fascist” expressions reported by the media — Nazi salutes and so on — were carried out by infiltrators and agents provocateurs planted in the EDL to discredit it.|
|2.||Tommy Robinson did not “admit” that “neo-fascists that had infiltrated the administration” of the EDL. Quite the contrary; he affirmed that such people always have been, and always will be, excluded from any role in the EDL.|
It has now become clear that a single disgruntled leader of the EDL’s Jewish Division — a now repudiated and expelled by the leadership of the EDL — retailed these false accusations, causing all the furor that followed.
We should all be glad that this sordid affair has at last been laid to rest
Below are excerpts from the English Defence League’s statement “The English Defence League — Standing Firm”:
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 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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Read the rest at the EDL website.