November 5, 2002
Jewish Militant 'Brain Dead' after Suicide Attempt
November 5, 2002

Irv Rubin, leader of the Jewish Defense League, a militant Zionist group with a long record of terrorist activities, was declared "brain dead and on life support" after attempting suicide on Monday, Nov. 4, in the federal detention center in Los Angeles where he was being held. He reportedly slashed his throat with a razor blade and then jumped or fell over a railing to a concrete floor 20 feet below.

Rubin, 57, was awaiting trial together with another JDL activist, Earl Krugel, on charges that they were preparing to blow up a mosque, the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, and the district office of US Representative Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), a grandson of Lebanese immigrants.

Rubin and Krugel, who were arrested last December, were facing up to 35 years imprisonment if convicted of all charges. The plot was broken up with help from another JDL associate who had become an undercover informant for the FBI.

In 1985 the FBI identified the JDL as "the second most active terrorist group in the United States," linking it to 37 terrorist attacks carried out from 1977 to 1984. (Orange County Register, Nov. 19, 1985). Another federal agency, the Department of Energy, similarly characterized the JDL in a 1986 report: "For more than a decade, the Jewish Defense League (JDL) has been one of the most active terrorist groups in the United States." In 1987 the FBI announced that Jewish extremist groups had carried out 24 terrorist acts from 1981 through 1986, 17 of which were the work of the JDL.

The Institute for Historical Review, a leading dissident history research and publishing center based in southern California, was a target of systematic JDL violence and harassment during the early 1980s. The attacks included a drive-by shooting, three firebombings, vandalization of IHR employee-owned vehicles, 22 slashings of tires of employee automobiles, demonstrations outside the IHR office, and numerous telephone threats.

This campaign culminated in a devastating arson attack on the Institute's offices and warehouse in Torrance in the early morning hours of July 4, 1984. Damage was estimated at $400,000.

Two days later, JDL leader Rubin showed up at the site of the gutted IHR offices publicly to praise the fire-bombing. The JDL, he declared, "wholeheartedly applauds the recent devastation of the offices of the Institute for Historical review." Denying any personal responsibility himself, Rubin said that the arson had been carried out by a former JDL activist named Larry Winston (Joel Cohen). No one was ever arrested in connection with this crime.

In February 1989, JDL intimidation forced the cancellation at two hotel sites in southern California of a three-day IHR conference. The meeting was successfully held at an alternate site, in spite of further harassment by a handful of JDL thugs led by Rubin.

Three JDL members were identified by US federal investigators as the perpetrators of the October 11, 1985, bombing in Santa Ana, California, that took the life of Alex Odeh, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. The accused assassins fled to Israel to avoid arrest. The Israeli government sought to obstruct the FBI's investigation of the Odeh slaying, although one of the killers, Robert Manning, was finally extradited to the US in July 1993 in connection with another crime.

"Rubin was a despicable character," commented IHR Director Mark Weber on the news that Rubin is now brain dead. "We regret that he was never punished for his crimes."

For further information about Rubin and the JDL, see "The Zionist Terror Network," a detailed IHR report, and "Jewish Militants Arrested in Bomb Plot," a Dec. 2001 IHR news release.