• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

    Previously at:
    blogs.salon.com/0003494
    barthsnotes.wordpress.com

    Email me
    (Non-commercial only)

  • Archives

  • Twitter

  • Supporting

  • Recent comments

Interview with New EDL Jewish Division Leader

A website called European Son has an interview with James Cohen, the new head of the English Defence League’s Jewish Division (Roberta Moore stepped down in June, complaining of anti-Semitism, and links with the main EDL have been strained). Cohen expounds on how the British government has been plotting to destroy “British values”, and on the EDL’s support for Israel. As for the far-right element:

ES: Well, but, as I’m sure you know, there have been many, many photographs of EDL members giving Nazi salutes. Combat 18 [a violent neo-Nazi group] has turned up to some of their demonstrations. So, what do you say to that? That doesn’t seem to be a great environment for Jews.

JC: Some of that I’ve already covered. Certainly since the EDL is the only game there is, you’re going to get all kinds of Nazis that join it. I’m sure there are all kinds of communists in Labour. But, a lot of those pictures are just guys hailing taxis, and waving at friends.

ES: But some of them were certainly not that. Some of them were certainly people giving Nazi salutes.

JC: Yes, there certainly were.

ES: So, you don’t think that represents the EDL?

JC: I know it doesn’t. As I say, the EDL is a very loose group; it’s not like a country club. You look at certain neighborhoods in certain cities that are being rapidly transformed. They’re being utterly obliterated… there are two sets of laws in place [one being sharia, the other British law]…

In fairness, I’ve had doubts of my own about some of the photos which supposedly show EDL Nazi salutes, but, as Cohen concedes, there are also unambiguous examples of the gesture. The notion of the EDL as “neo-Nazi” is something of a red herring, but given the reality of at least some infiltration at EDL events a dismissive “hailing taxis and waving to friends” explanation is not going to inspire confidence.

European Son appears to be broadly supportive of the EDL while maintaining some distance – in the wake of the Norway massacre, it posted an article called “the EDL needs to come clean”, although this has since been deleted. The site is run by the Hudson Institute’s A. Millar, although he downplays references to himself. In one article for the Hudson Institute, Millar calls on the EDL “to express support for reformist Muslims”, which is a rather overoptimistic hope. Like Cohen, Millar has also written for the International Free Press Society.

One Response

  1. […] of the International Free Press Society – James Cohen of the EDL Jewish Division is also involved with this organisation. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.