An Orthodox California rabbi running for state senate under the Tea Party banner marched yesterday with a far right-wing anti-Islam group in Britain outside the Israeli Embassy.
Rabbi Nachum Shifren, an ex-lifeguard known as the surfing rabbi, is considered a long shot to represent west Los Angeles in the California senate. He has spoken at Tea Party events and says he is a member of the group.
The English Defense League has said it wants to foster ties with the American Tea Party, a right-wing group that has also taken anti-Muslim and anti-immigration stances, and the rally, at which Shifren spoke, was meant as a first step toward that goal.
“I am coming to the UK to express my solidarity with the patriots in England who are on the front line in the war on jihad and stealth jihad,” Shifren told the Jewish Chronicle last week. “Multiculturalists have brought us to the brink, insisting on degrading our own cultures while pandering to forces of darkness that threaten to completely transform our societal foundations.”
According to the Chronicle, Shifren previously trained Israeli paratroopers and worked as a driver for Kach head Rabbi Meir Kahane.
The rally was meant as a show of support for Israel and Shifren was invited to give a speech about Sharia law.
The EDL boasts a tiny Jewish division, but most Jewish groups in Britain reject its nationalist stances.
“EDL actions are violent and intimidatory, attacking police and random Asians. Any Jews thinking that they can shape such dangerous forces and find shelter there are utterly deluded,” the Community Security Trust, a Jewish British group, has said.
At a rally earlier this month, 1,000 EDL activists clashed with police and anti-fascist demonstrators in Leicester.