THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 1
Chapter 1: Soviet Jewry: I Am My Brother’s Keeper
 
 
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         I

Soviet Jewry:
    I Am My Brother’s Keeper

 

bAt 1:00 PM on December 29, 1969 in New York City, groups bof young Jews struck simultaneously at the Soviet offices of bTASS (the press agency), Intourist (the tourist agency), and bAeroflot (the airline office) and leaped aboard a Soviet air- bliner that had just landed at Kennedy Airport. The young bJews were all members of the Jewish Defense League and, bwith the attacks, a radical new chapter opened both in the bsaga of Soviet Jewry and in the history of the American bJewish community.

bAt TASS, the office was taken over by myself and three byoungsters. The officials, including two Soviet journalists, bwere ordered to remain quiet while the walls were spray- bpainted with signs reading: “Am Yisroel Chai” (“The Peo- bple of Israel Lives”) and “Let My People Go.” At Intourist, bthe group, led by 25-year-old Avraham Hershkowitz, al- blowed those who wished to, to leave and then locked all the bdoors, pausing for a moment to slam the drawer of a desk on bthe hand of a Soviet official who sought to reach for a pair of bscissors. But it was at Kennedy that the most dramatic touch bwas applied. There, white-faced Soviet stewardesses and bstewards watched a group of young Jews rush into the cabin bas a huge Ilyushin passenger plane arrived from Moscow. bWhile one youngster painted the fusilage with Hebrew bslogans, two others chained themselves to the front wheel, bshouting “Am Yisroel Chai.” In one afternoon the Jews of b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 1
Chapter 1: Soviet Jewry: I Am My Brother’s Keeper