Media reaction to JDL Canada member in Harper’s Israel delegation

Julius Suraski, an event co-ordinator for the controversial Jewish Defence League of Canada, was invited after writing to the prime minister, said Meir Weinstein, national director of the organization, in an interview on Tuesday.

“Julius knows some people in the Conservative party, and he sent a letter to the prime minister and it was passed around and somebody in the party extended an invitation to him.”

Suraski, who could not be reached for comment, has erected billboards in support of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and helped organize a Toronto speech by anti-Muslim [sic] American speaker Pamela Geller. Geller was introduced by Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, of Toronto’s Beth Avraham Yosef Synagogue. Korobkin is also part of the delegation.

Dewar said Tuesday that it seems odd to include Suraski on the trip.

“That’s what’s puzzling here,” he said. “Why was he invited? What the Conservatives were saying … this is what they want to represent the face of Canada in Israel? I think there has to be an explanation as to why they chose certain individuals.” (…)

Lecce said Tuesday that Suraski’s inclusion in the trip doesn’t mean the government supports the JDL.

“In a delegation of this size you will always find a range of different views, including views you do not agree with,” he said. “Members of the accompanying delegation do not speak for the government of Canada.”