THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 41
Chapter 1: Soviet Jewry: I Am My Brother’s Keeper
 
 
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Soviet Jewry 41

bbring no protest from the Jewish community. Rather, they bsaid it would be welcomed.” Woe to a Jewish community bwith such leaders!

bPerhaps the most tragic and disgraceful display was that bof the Government of Israel, fresh from years of efforts to bwin favor with the Russians by soft-pedalling the Soviet bJewish question and by attempting to silence all Soviet bJewish militants. Run basically by the same party leaders bwhom Ben Hecht, in his devastating book Perfidy, exposed bin all their silence during the Holocaust, the Cabinet of bIsrael disgraced the Jewish nation by bowing to American bpressure and declaring on January 17: “The Government of bIsrael vigorously opposes the employment of acts of ter- brorism in this (Soviet Jewish) struggle such as those carried bout recently in the United States and elsewhere.” Thus bspoke the government whose anti-terror forces shot down bArabs in Beirut, Nicosia, Rome, Paris, and Norway. And bone can begin to understand their arresting me and their brefusal, under United States pressure, to allow me to leave bthe country to travel to the United States, an act we normally bassociate with Soviet Russia.

bBut times were changing and not all Jews were prepared bto follow the Establishment line like the sheep they generally bwere. The Chairman of the Israel Students Union took issue bwith his government and cabled a message of support to the bJDL, while Knesset member Shmuel Tamir, in a radio de- bbate in Israel, said: “If the JDL harries Soviet diplomats and bembassies, there’s no reason for us to disassociate from it.”

bA group of Soviet Jews who had been in the forefront of bthe struggle inside Russia angrily attacked the Jewish lead- bership and cabled their support for the League, saying:

b“We are convinced the League’s policy and activities are bmost effective. The Soviet government should be brought to bunderstand that the liberation of Soviet Jews is preferable to bendless international complications.” The signers included bsuch Soviet Jewish heroes as Dov Sperling, Rachel Getz, bAnatoly Dekatov, Avraham Shifrin, Miriam Gerber, Aryeh bFalkov, Yosef Schneider, Boris Shlayen, and Mordchai bLapid. Sperling added a further comment to the effect that b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 41
Chapter 1: Soviet Jewry: I Am My Brother’s Keeper