Shakespeare famously claimed that “misery makes strange bedfellows.” Evidently, political extremism resembles misery in more ways than one as evidenced by the strange alliance between far-right extremist groups the Jewish Defense League and the Soldiers of Odin. JDL and SOO members have found a common ground in counter-protesting far-left extremist organization Antifa who have been responsible for more and more violence as of late. The June 24 counter-protest of Al-Quds day was not the first time that the SOO and JDL had joined forces in Canada. In April, a member of the Jewish Defense League was charged with felony assault and a hate crime for beating up a 54-year-old Palestinian community college professor. Ironically, the man charged is named Zaza Vili. Vili just happens to be the name of one of Odin’s brothers, according to Norse mythology.
Which brings us to the Soldiers of Odin. Some feel that the SOO are just the latest revamp of a White Supremacist biker gang. The SOO began in Finland but has taken root in Canada as of late. The Quebec chapter of Soldiers of Odin has splintered from the Finnish group so as not to be associated with “racist, reckless, unorganized thugs.”
“Their ridiculous belief in racism has always been a huge issue for us in Canada as we do not support or share their views on race,” Bill Daniels president of Soldiers of Odin Canada announced on Facebook, according to a May 1 article in the National Post. The Anti-Defamation League says of Soldiers of Odin that “Though it claims not to be racist, many Soldiers of Odin USA members and supporters are in fact open white supremacists, ranging from racist Odinists to Ku Klux Klan members.” Soldiers of Odin members have patrolled major cities in the U.S. and Canada since appearing on the American continent.
The appearance of Antifa facing off against far right groups like Sons of Odin, JDL, Oath Keepers and others is a sign of the times as political violence and extremism continue to spread. Ironically, Canadian JDL members have referred to Antifa as “Holocaust Deniers” despite multiple protests or calls to violence against persons or institutions who support any sort of Holocaust history revisionism.
Meir Weinstein is the current head of the Jewish Defense League (JDL). Weinstein was at the April 1st event at Nathan Phillips Square near Toronto City Hall. Soldiers of Odin (SOO) and JDL were there purportedly to provide security. During the protest, JDL and SOO managed to become involved in a few violent scuffles. Weinstein and the JDL believe SOO is not the racist organization they are painted to be and has no problem aligning with them on an “ad-hoc” basis. SOO and JDL officers acted as security for Sandra Solomon, Muslim apostate and anti-sharia activist.
So-called “extremist group watchdog” organization the Southern Poverty Law Center considers both JDL and SOO dangerous, hate groups. The FBI itself listed JDL as a terrorist organization in a 2001 report after multiple attempts, threats, and instances of terroristic violence including bombings, beatings, and even murder. Friday, June 23, was designated Al-Quds day by the Muslim Congress. The holiday originated in Iran in 1979 as a counter-protest to Jerusalem day. Generally, it takes place on the final day of Ramadan and often includes calls for “end of occupation of Palestine” in what is modern day Israel. So essentially, the JDL counter-protest was a counter-protest of a counter-protest. Thanks to a heavy police presence, no incidents, such as those at the April event occurred.
[Featured Image by Damian Dovarganes/AP Images]