Church (illustrative)
Church (illustrative)Thinkstock

The Jewish Defense League of Canada has started a crowd-funding campaign to collect money that will be used to fund a trip of its Toronto members to protest an anti-Israel meeting in Vancouver. The meeting, the JDL says on its page on the Indiegogo crowd-funding web site, “is spear-headed by the far-left Christian "progressive" groups that also promote Israel Apartheid Week.”

The group of twelve activists from the Toronto chapter are raising money for plane fare and board to Vancouver , nearly 3,000 miles west of Montreal, where in late April the meeting of a “replacement theology” group – Christians who claim that the mantle of the “chosen people” has passed from Jews to Christians – is to take place. According to Meir Weinstein, chapter head, the group has long espoused anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views, claiming that the Jews are “cursed,” and that their group represents “new Israel.”

“We have an obligation to confront our opponents face to face, wherever they may be,” the JDL said on the IndieGogo page. “But we need your help to spread the truth.  Specifically, we need your help to cover the cost of flights, hotel rooms, rental cars and meals. Even the smallest donation will help us represent all of you, who can't be there yourselves.”

Leaders of the Montreal Jewish community decried the planned trip for the Montreal chapter last month. "The Jewish community of Quebec categorically rejects the sensationalist tactics of the JDL and rejects its claim of ensuring the safety of Quebec Jews and their institutions," Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs Québec (CIJA-Quebec) said in a statement. “"The JDL is a small marginal group that does not receive any substantial support within our community. By claiming that the Jews of Quebec need a rapid response team to anti-Semitic threats, the JDL is irresponsibly contributing to the creation a climate of fear within the Jewish community.The Jewish community of Quebec has no use for the JDL. Federation CJA, the central planning and coordinating body of Jewish community, has always ensured the safety of Jewish institutions with a team of qualified professionals working closely with the City of Montreal Police Department,” the statement said.