CNN Legal View anchor Ashleigh Banfield and former Ronald Reagan White House administrator Jeffrey Lord argued vehemently over whether or not Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump‘s proposed ban on Muslims mirrored past calls to ban Jewish immigrants before and during World War II.
“If you supplant the word ‘Jews’ for ‘Muslims’ in a lot of the rhetoric that we’ve had this morning, I think people would find it sort of cringe-worthy and reminiscent of a really ugly time in our history,” said Banfield.
She then wondered aloud whether or not the reaction would be any different if, per a hypothetical example, border patrol agents began asking those wanting to legally travel into or immigrate in the United States if they were Jews.
“There are no Jews that are coming in here to destroy America,” responded Lord. “They’re coming here to get away from these people.”
Banfield interrupted Lord with a reference to former TSA administrator John Pistole‘s 2004 congressional testimony, in which he cited 18 known terrorist attacks committed by Jews or Jewish-affiliated groups on American soil between 1980 and 1985. All the while, Lord nodded his head in disagreement and tried to get the anchor’s attention.
15 of those attacks were committed by the Jewish Defense League:
The Jewish Defense League (JDL) was an active terrorist organization based in the U.S. and active for roughly two decades. Shortly after its 1968 founding in New York City, the group would unleash a terrorist offensive in the United States. JDL was the second-most active group in the U.S. during its existence. Only the Puerto Rican separatist group, Armed Forces of National Liberation, was a larger terrorist threat at that time.
The Jewish Defense League began as a vigilante group in New York City, committed to protecting the orthodox Jewish population throughout the city and particularly in Brooklyn. Within a year of the JDL’s founding, the group moved beyond mere “protection” and initiated aggressive terrorist actions. The group began with the burglary of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s UN mission, as well as attacks against Soviet institutions. Throughout the group’s terrorist campaign, JDL repeatedly targeted Soviet institutions, but would also target facilities of any government that was believed anti-Semitic. In 1985, JDL moved beyond attacks against institutions and began to directly target individuals for assassination.
While JDL was founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane, Kahane left the U.S. shortly after the group’s formation. In 1971, Kahane emigrated to Israel and founded the Kach party. Despite his absence during most of the group’s terrorist campaign, Rabbi Kahane remained the group’s official leader until 1985. The assassination of Alex Odeh, director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), finally prompted Meir Kahane to officially step down as JDL’s leader.
Federal authorities Wednesday charged two leaders of the Jewish Defense League with conspiring to blow up Arab and Muslim institutions in southern California, including the offices of Arab-American congressman Rep. Darrell Issa.
Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel were taken into federal custody following late Tuesday raids by members of an antiterrorism task force, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney John S. Gordon.
“When you target innocents based on religious or political affiliation or belief, we consider that terrorist activity,” Gordon said.
“Their primary motivation was to send a ‘wake-up call’ or terrorize Muslims or Arabs and alert the local, if not national, community to the JDL’s commitment to attack those targets.”
Targets included the office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, the King Fahad mosque in Culver City and the offices of Issa, who represents a district along the coast between Los Angeles and San Diego, according to Gordon.
Current Goals: The Jewish Defense League was dealt a significant blow in 1987 upon the conviction of several group members. Today, JDL is not actively engaged in terrorist actions. Two JDL members, however, were arrested in 2001 for their plot to bomb the office of a Lebanese-American Congressman from Orange County California and a mosque in Culver City California. Former JDL leader Irving Rubin committed suicide in prison while awaiting trial and West Coast Coordinator Earl Krugel pleaded guilty to the plot in 2003. In September 2005, Krugel was sentenced to 20 years in jail for his role in the plot. Two months later he was killed in prison by unknown assailants.
“What are you talking about?” she exclaimed. “There have been Jewish terrorist attacks. Should we therefore ask no Jews to please apply for a visa?”
That’s when Lord came back at Banfield with a completely out-of-left-field response.
“Are you really saying to me that there’s an international Jewish conspiracy to take over the world?”
Check out the clip above, via CNN.
“Diverse” means formerly White… –Bob Whitaker
Bob Whitaker: A true American and former Reagan Administration appointee.
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