Irv Rubin

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Irving D. Rubin (April 12, 1945 – November 13, 2002) was chairman of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) from 1985 to 2002. Over the years he was suspected of and charged with committing various acts of terrorism. He died in jail awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy to bomb private and government property.

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Early life and activism

Rubin was born in Canada. After experiencing widespread anti-Semitism in his home city of Montreal, he and his parents and sister moved to the neighborhood of Granada Hills, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, which has a large Jewish population. He attained United States citizenship shortly thereafter, and served as a sergeant in the United States Air Force until he was honorably discharged. He was a staunch supporter of the right to keep and bear arms.[2]

In 1978 Rubin offered a $500 bounty to anyone who would wound or kill a member of the American Nazi Party. Indicted on solicitation of murder charges, he was acquitted in 1981.[3]

Jewish Defense League activism

Rubin became the successor to JDL founder Rabbi Meir Kahane, after the latter moved to Israel in 1985 and formed the Kach Party, which was eventually outlawed by the Israeli Government as "racist".[4]

In 1985 it was reported that Rubin said about the bombing of the home of revisionist historian Dr. George Ashley, "It's too bad that Mr. Ashley wasn't blown up" and "I applaud those who took such actions. I think these people have a righteous place in the world."[5] More moderate Jews also criticized him. Rob Eshman, the Editor-in-Chief of the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles noted "In the solar system of Jewish life, Irv Rubin is Pluto" and asserted "Here in Los Angeles, for years now Rubin has been escorted out of far more Jewish events than he’s ever been invited in to."[6]

In 1985 Alex Odeh, the local chairman of the pro-Palestinian American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) was killed by a bomb while opening the door to his Santa Ana, California office. Rubin was suspected, and further antagonized his opponents by saying that "Odeh got what he deserved." However, the JDL has insisted the attack was committed by others. The FBI was unable to prove its original allegations. The crime remains unsolved. The investigation of Rubin was headed by FBI special agent Mary Hogan, the same agent who signed the affidavit accusing Rubin of planning to destroy government property and other targets in 2001.[7]

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