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‘Prosecute killer cops’ or ‘F*ck the Jew, kill the cop’? Misheard BLM chant shared by extremist Jewish group’s leader

“Fuck the Jew, kill the cop.” That’s what Meir HaLevi Weinstein suggested Los Angeles protesters were shouting on Sunday.

They were really chanting, “Prosecute killer cops” — a common protest chant.

Weinstein — self-proclaimed leader of the North America wing of the Jewish Defense League, a militant organization that has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — posted an excerpted video from a livestream of the protest, along with the allegation that the chanters were using anti-Jewish language; it was shared 500 times.

“Protesters down Melrose in Los Angeles, chanting ‘F the Jew, Kill the cop,” Weinstein wrote in the caption for an excerpt of an hour-and-a-half long video of the march.

los angeles black lives matter protest

The original Facebook post, which when first viewed by the Forward had been shared more than 500 times. Image by Facebook: Screenshot

Click below for the excerpt of video of the march Weinstein shared; the actual chant can be heard most clearly at around the 12-second mark.

Weinstein, who lives in Toronto, has been a sporadic presence on campuses in Canada as part of efforts to push back on student campaigns seeking to divest university endowments from Israel.

Earlier this year, Weinstein said that he wanted to revive New York City’s chapter of the JDL, which the FBI has labeled as a “terrorist group,” in response to rising antisemitic attacks in the city.

“A top priority for the Jewish Defence League in New York City will be to expose and confront Black organizations and leaders who spread antisemitism within the Black community,” he said in a Facebook post in January.

Weinstein also suggested in 2017 he wanted to “mobilize” JDL members to defend Jews from neo-Nazis in Whitefish, Mont.

Weinstein deleted the post with the video of the Los Angeles protest Monday afternoon, after receiving a request for comment from the Forward. Weinstein did not respond to the request.

Since the beginning of the summer, some Jewish figures on social media have sought to portray Black Lives Matter protests — including those in Los Angeles — as being focused on the Jewish community, citing instances of vandalism and property damage against Jewish businesses and synagogues. After one day of protests a synagogue had “Free Palestine” spray painted on it.

One Orthodox rabbi in the city compared the property damage to “Kristallnacht,” the catastrophic state-sponsored looting and violence against Jewish businesses in Germany in 1938 that foreshadowed the ghettoizing and mass murder of Germany’s Jewish population.

A synagogue in Kenosha, Wis., the site of protests after a police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, seven times in the back, also recently had “Free Palestine” spray painted on its exterior.

A broad swath of the Jewish community — although by no means all of it — has expressed its support of the Black Lives Matter movement. On Friday, more than 400 Jewish groups — from individual synagogues to large organizations like the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center — expressed support for the movement in an open letter.

The original live stream of the Los Angeles protest came from Josh Friedman, an independent journalist who has live-streamed several protests from Los Angeles over the summer.

The video was also shared on Twitter, though at least two users who posted it, including Jake Turx, the senior White House correspondent for the Orthodox magazine Ami, soon deleted it. People who commented on the tweets featuring the video clearly thought they had heard “Fuck the Jew, kill the cop,” possibly due to the poor audio quality of the video.

Though Weinstein deleted his post, the video excerpt he published was shared by at least one other person on Facebook.

“Good Morning, America!! Your next generation! We are in BIG trouble!” wrote one user who reposted the video.

In an email, Friedman said he was not immediately available to speak about the protest, but he said determining what the protesters were chanting “would take further investigation on my part.”

The chant “Prosecute killer cops” has been heard at protests throughout the country over the summer, including in Los Angeles.

Update, 9/1/20, 9:00 A.M. — This article has been updated to note Weinstein’s role in the Jewish Defense League.

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman

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