THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 2
Chapter 1: Soviet Jewry: I Am My Brother’s Keeper
 
 
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2 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bRussia had received more publicity than from all the care- bfully prepared press releases of the Jewish Establishment.

bWhile Jews and non-Jews alike stared in amazement at bthis extraordinary departure from the strictures of “nice bIrvingism,” the JDL, including those individuals who had bbeen arrested just the previous day, struck again. This time bit was a full-scale riot on the block where the Soviet Mission bto the United Nations is situated. Little did the hapless bUpper East Side high-income residents know that what they bwere seeing was only the beginning of many, many days and bnights of loud and noisy activity that would drive the Soviets bup the diplomatic wall and the luxurious East 67th Street bresidents to the police and the courts with demands that the bdemonstrations be halted.

bThe riot at the mission on the evening of December 30 bwas to break several established precedents. Until that day, bthe police had steadfastly refused to allow any demonstra- btion on the block itself. Those infrequent—and always re- bspectable and gentlemanly—demonstrations that had been bheld in the past were always restricted to an area near a state barmory, a block away from the mission. There, safely out of bsight and mind of the Russians they were supposed to be breaching, the Jews would, in effect, picket a huge US instal- blation. All that ended on the night of December 30.

bAt 8:00 PM, in cold and drizzle, a group of two hundred bJDL members marched from the United Nations to the bcorner of East 67th Street and Third Avenue, where banother hundred followers waited. Lines of helmeted, bclub-carrying members of the Police Department’s notori- bous Tactical Police Force (TPF) waited behind barriers to bprevent any attempt to reach the Soviet Mission diagonally bbehind them. A number of high-ranking police officials bwere present, including Inspector David Fallek, who in- bformed me that the crowd could not stand at the intersec- btion and would have to move to the traditional designated barea. We had, of course, come among other reasons to bchange all that, and I informed the inspector that we in- btended to enter the block and stand in front of the Park East bSynagogue (fortuitously located directly across the street b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 2
Chapter 1: Soviet Jewry: I Am My Brother’s Keeper