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France: Ultra-Zionist movements

Last modified: 2016-11-19 by ivan sache
Keywords: ligue de défense juive |
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Ligue de défense juive

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Flag of the LDJ - Image by Ivan Sache, 15 May 2016

The Ligue de défense juive (LDJ) is a group of ultra-Zionist militants, mostly active in Paris. Constituted of a few dozens of regular members, the group has no legal status; it originates in Liberté démocratie et judaïsme, an association registered in October 2000 and self-dissolved in 2003.
As its name and symbol clearly state it, the LDJ is inspired by the Jewish Defence League, a movement established in 1968 in the US by Rabbi Meir Kahane, banned and listed as terrorist in 2001 by the FBI. Kach, the party established by Kahane in Israel after he had emigrated there, was also banned in 1994.

Like the Jewish Defence League, the LDJ relies on violence to "defend the Jewish people against all modern forms of anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic, judeophobic, anti-Judaist, and anti-Zionist hatred." The president of the Conseil des institutions juives de France (CRIF, the body officially representing the Jewish community in France) stated, however, that the CRIF had not the least connection with the LDJ.
For the last ten years, members of the LDJ have been involved in some 100 aggressions. In July 2014, the "protection" of two synagogues, in Paris and Sarcelles, by members of the LDJ, who violently opposed to pro-Palestinian demonstrators, prompted calls for the ban of the movement; since the group has no legal existence, its ban is not possible, though.
[Le Figaro, 31 July 2014; France Culture, 30 July 2014, Libération, 30 July 2014]

The flag of the LDJ (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) is yellow with the symbol of the movement, a black Magen David charged with a yellow fist outlined in black. The flag is virtually the same as the flag of Kach, but with the emblem slightly skewed to the hoist.

Ivan Sache, 15 May 2016