THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 39
Chapter 1: Soviet Jewry: I Am My Brother’s Keeper
 
 
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Soviet Jewry 39

bharassment.” Time on the same day headlined its story “The bPrivate Jewish War on Russia.” All condemned the JDL and ball gave more coverage to the Soviet Jewish question in two bweeks than in all the previous fifty years. They also found it bnecessary to discuss something else, the phenomenon of the b“new Jew,” the militant, tough, karate- and gun-wise Jew, bwith the slogan “Never Again.”

bColumnists and articles in every major paper dissected bthe JDL, the Soviet Jewish question, and the phenomenon bof the “new Jew.” Robert Mayer of Long Island’s Newsday bwrote an article (January 14) titled “Observations on the bJDL,” an honestly confused series of questions and points. bAttacking the JDL (he quoted Pete Hamill, the New York bPost’s Panther, Young Lord, and Weatherman lover, who bdredged up enough venom to call the JDL “dumbbells”) he bdeclared that “the harassment of minor Soviet officials here bis petty, stupid, and hardly likely to be productive. This adds bup to a clear and simple position.” And having said that, he bcontinued:

b“The only troubling aspect to this clear and simple posi- btion is that the JDL, through its dumbbell actions, has par- btially succeeded. For years people have been speaking out band writing articles about the plight of the Jews in Russia. bThese speeches and articles most often could be found in bJewish magazines. . . . Few people were concerned. Now, bbecause of the JDL and its tactics, the subject is on the front bpage all over the world. Millions of people know about bRussian anti-Semitism today who did not know about it a bmonth ago.”

bAnd he concluded: “That is why some Jews who have bnumbers on their wrist from the Nazi concentration camps bsupport the JDL; and it is why condemning the JDL’s tactics bis right and proper but not entirely satisfying.”

bLetters in the newspapers from readers argued the merits bof the JDL pro and con. The January 20 issue of Newsday bcarried a spate of letters surrounding a marvelous cartoon bshowing a top-hatted Soviet diplomat and a Black militant bcowering against the walls of an alley while a mob of angry, bweapons-wielding Jews with a Jewish Defense League ban- b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 39
Chapter 1: Soviet Jewry: I Am My Brother’s Keeper