Irv Rubin: Wikis


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Irv Rubin
Born April 12, 1945
Died Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles
November 13, 2002
Cause Suicide, slit his throat and jumped from a 20-foot-high railing.
Charge(s) Federal terrorism. Attempted to blow up a mosque in Culver City, California and the offices of Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)
Occupation Chairman of
Jewish Defense League
Spouse Shelley Rubin[1]
Children Two

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.


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 against the JDL, given that the original suspects in the case fled to Israel. 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]

Before joining the Libertarian Party in 2000, Irv Rubin was an active Republican, and served as a page at the 1964 Republican National Convention, at which Barry Goldwater was nominated to run for the presidency.[8] Irv Rubin’s joining the Libertarian Party was greeted with shock by many members because of the allegations of terrorism against JDL and Rubin himself. Membership requires a pledge to not "initiate force."[9] In June 2001 Rubin let it be known he was considering running for governor of California on the Libertarian ticket, renewing controversies among libertarians.[10]

2001 conspiracy charges

On December 12, 2001, Irv Rubin, JDL Chairman, and Earl Krugel, a member of the organization, were charged with conspiracy to bomb private and government property. The two allegedly were caught in the act of planning bomb attacks against the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California and on the office of U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, who is Arab-American. The two were arrested as part of a sting operation after an FBI informant named Danny Gillis delivered explosives to Krugel's home in L.A.[11]

The JDL claims that Danny Gillis struck a deal with the FBI to neutralize the JDL by infiltrating the organization and arranging criminal charges of its leadership.[12] However, according to the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, Gillis was a former JDL member who joined the organization due to conflicts with white skinheads.[13]

On February 4, 2003, Earl Krugel, Rubin's first lieutenant, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges stemming from the plot. This plea was later withdrawn by the presiding Judge, and he was charged with additional crimes which, if convicted, could result in a 55-year imprisonment in a Federal Penitentiary. The plea bargain was apparently reinstated in late September 2005, and the 62-year-old Krugel was sentenced to 20 years in federal detention, after an initial plea agreement based on his revealing the names of those involved in the Alex Odeh bomb plot was withdrawn.[14] On November 4, 2005, he was killed by an inmate after having been transferred to a Phoenix federal prison. By the most commonly accepted account, another inmate struck Krugel on the head from behind with a cement block.[15]

In March 2009 never-before-seen FBI documents concerning Rubin's alleged confession and details about his death were published by the online news site March 17, 2009.[16][17]

Rubin's tombstone in Los Angeles.

Death in prison

In November 2002, while imprisoned at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles awaiting trial, Rubin allegedly cut his own throat with a jail-issued safety razor and tumbled off an 18- to 20-foot balcony. The injuries from the fall resulted in his death at Los Angeles County Hospital several days later.[18] Some people consider the circumstances surrounding his death to be suspicious, and Rubin's wife demanded an investigation.[19] But defense attorney Mark Werksman said that Rubin had been despondent for months, losing 40 pounds, and that the pressure of an upcoming trial "may have pushed him over top."[20] The Rubin family launched a wrongful death suit against the government.[1]

External links


  1. ^ a b Family of JDL Leader Rubin Sues Gov't, Associated Press, January 24, 2003.
  2. ^ Tom Tugend, Did Irv Rubin attempt to commit suicide or did somebody try to murder him?, November 8, 2002.
  3. ^ "JDL's new leader was born in Montreal" The Gazette. Montreal, Que.: Aug 20, 1985. pg. D.10. One controversial incident involved remarks Rubin made in Los Angeles on March 16, 1978: "We are offering $500, that I have in my hand, to any member of the community . . . who kills, maims or seriously injures a member of the American Nazi party." He spoke at a time when American Nazis were planning a march in Skokie, Ill., home to a large number of Jews, many of them survivors of the Holocaust. Rubin was charged with solicitation of murder. In 1981, he was acquitted.
  4. ^ The Kach Movement - Background Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 3 March 1994
  5. ^ The Daily Breeze, Torrance, CA, August 26, 1985, p. 1
  6. ^ Rob Eshman,Follies, December 21, 2002
  7. ^ The Murder of Earl Krugel: Where's the Outrage; Tom Tugend, Never Say Never Again, Jerusalem Post, December 27, 2001.
  8. ^ Tom Tugend, November 8, 2002.
  9. ^ Jewish Defense League leader signs up with LP, JDL head: Jews "need the Second Amendment", Libertarian Party News, March 2000 (formerly at; Libertarian Party News, several Letters to Editor voicing objections, May 2000.
  10. ^ Eric Garris, Irv Rubin and the Libertarian Party, June 26, 2000; Justin Raimondo column item, Terrorism and Libertarianism – a Truly Odd Couple,, June 14, 2000; Series of June to December, 2001 email exchanges on LPUS mailing list at
  11. ^ JDL Head Arrested,, December 14, 2001.
  12. ^ Fern Sidman, Today We Lost a True Hero, Jewish Defense League web page, 2002.
  13. ^ Mike Levy, JDL Trial Set for October, Rubin, Krugel attorneys have been unable to speak with informant in bomb plot case,, April 12, 2002.
  14. ^ Time Magazine Milestones; Jim Crogan,Krugel Gets 20 Years for Bomb Plot, September 30, 2005.
  15. ^ JDL Activist Killed In Prison.
  16. ^ Did Former JDL Boss Confess to Bomb Plots?, Jewish Journal, March 17, 2009.
  17. ^ Exclusive: FBI Docs - JDL Boss Confessed to Bomb Plot,, March 16, 2009. Rubin's wife's response to the publication.
  18. ^ Terror Suspect Irv Rubin Dies, November 15, 2002.
  19. ^ Militant US Jew's 'suicide bid' challenged, November 7, 2002; Tom Tugend, November 8, 2002.
  20. ^ JDL chairman Irv Rubin attempts suicide, November 4, 2002.

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