THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 44
Chapter 1: Soviet Jewry: I Am My Brother’s Keeper
 
 
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44 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bcommentary, declared that “a wolf sheds its fur every year bbut does not change its habits.” They were quite correct. bThe move was a tactical one, made for a number of reasons:

b1. We knew that any revolutionary step would have to be bdigested by a Jewish public to whom radical change is bdifficult to grasp. With the passage of a short period of time band an opportunity to carefully ponder the results of our bactions, the until-now timid and respectable Jews would bbegin to understand exactly what we had done and why.

b2. We understood that the Russians responded only to bpressures that threatened their interests. At the same time, bwe knew that we could not make them “lose face.” Their bnational pride could not allow them to make concessions in bthe face of continual slaps in the face, even if they were bprepared to make those concessions. Therefore, we were bprepared to cease the open insults and allow them a way to bmake their concessions quietly and not under duress.

b3. We wanted the Jewish Establishment groups to ac- bquire a little wisdom and join with us in saving Soviet Jewry bby doing that which we could not do. What do I mean by bthat? I mean that we could have brought out ten times as bmany Soviet Jews had the Jewish Establishment groups had bthe wisdom and insight that their Black counterparts did. bWhat the latter did was to go running to Washington after bevery riot, attack, or outrage by Black militants and tell the bgovernment, in effect: “You see, we warned you. If you do bnot make concessions to us, the sane and law-abiding bgroups, more and more Blacks will turn to the militants and bthere will be more and more acts of violence.” The Black bEstablishment, by in effect working with the militants, were bable to achieve enormous progress for their people.

bWhat we wanted the Jewish Establishment to do was the bsame. After each militant action, to condemn the act and bthen quietly go to Washington and say, “Unless you can help bus to persuade the Russians to make concessions, these bmilitants will gain more adherents and their violence will bcontinue.” In a word, what was called for was a potent b“double-play combination,” each doing what the other bcould not do. That is why I told the press that Jewish leaders bhad been in contact with me and had told me: “You’ve made b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 44
Chapter 1: Soviet Jewry: I Am My Brother’s Keeper