France moves to disband radical Jewish group

Last Updated: Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 16:21

Paris: The French government is seeking to disband a radical Jewish group involved in recent clashes with pro-Palestinian activists during rallies against the Gaza offensive, a source told AFP Thursday.

News of the mooted ban came as France`s main Jewish group prepared to stage a pro-Israel gathering in Paris, in response to weeks of protests marred by clashes, arrests and allegations of anti-Semitism.

The presence of fired-up Jewish Defence League (LDJ) activists on the sidelines of recent rallies was seen as one of the reasons they turned violent, with clashes outside a synagogue on July 13 leading to a ban on subsequent pro-Palestinian protests.

"We are carrying out an extremely fine analysis of the law," a source close to the case told AFP, confirming a report by French newspaper Liberation of the move to disband the LDJ.

Last week Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the group`s actions were "excessive" and "should be condemned".

The LDJ denies breaking French laws. It takes inspiration however from the far-right Jewish Defense League, labelled a terrorist organisation by the FBI in 2001.

It also uses the emblem of a banned Israeli far-right party, the Kach, a raised fist inside a black Star of David, set against a yellow backing.

French far-left and Muslim leaders have been calling for action against the LDJ, with the French Muslim council branding it "an extremist, racist and violent association."

Leaders of France`s half-million strong Jewish community have clearly distanced themselves from the LDJ, insisting it has not been asked to defend French synagogues.

AFP

First Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 16:21

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