THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 45
Chapter 1: Soviet Jewry: I Am My Brother’s Keeper
 
 
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Soviet Jewry 45

byour point. Pause for a while and let us work through bnormal channels.”

bIn truth, no Jewish leader had ever said that to me, but I bhoped to place in their minds what they did not have the bgood sense to think of themselves. In any case, as I told a bsynagogue group, “this moratorium is not going to be per- bmanent. If all else fails, the JDL will accelerate its tactics in a bmanner that will make our previous tactics look mild.” In bthe days that followed we announced a consumer boycott bagainst the products of US companies doing business with bSoviets; occupied the offices of Columbia Artists, which was bsponsoring the appearance of the Omsk Siberian Dancers; a bbomb threat; ammonia bottles and chanting demonstrators bdid indeed disrupt the appearance of the group at Car- bnegie Hall on January 28; and on the next day we declared bthat the moratorium had ended. We also decided to borrow ba successful leftist tactic, that of forming front groups, bdominated by JDL, which would attract many young people bwho, for various reasons, feared having their name as- bsociated with JDL. We named the group Student Activists bfor Soviet Jewry, and one of our people, Yosi Templeman, bwas placed in charge. A joint rally of the League and SASJ bwas held at Hunter College on February 14, when we for- bmally announced that the demonstrations and harassment bwere on again. Another tumultuous few days followed with bRussians being harried and myself being arrested for hav- bing harassed Vladimir Fedorov, the Second Secretary of the bSoviet Mission. Meanwhile the Omsk dancers were finding blife difficult outside of New York, too, as Washington JDL bpeople disrupted the performance with decompressed-air bhorns and ammonia bottles. The previous week, the angry bRussians had cancelled yet another tour with the an- bnouncement that both cellist Natalia Gutman and pianist bYuri Lubimov would not be coming “in consideration of the bcontinuing excesses committed by Zionist hooligans.”

bJewish hooligans had now found another fertile field. bWith a list of the private residences of Soviet diplomats in bWashington in their hands, the attack spread. On February b18 three Soviet automobiles in suburban Maryland were battacked and one set afire. State Department spokesman b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 45
Chapter 1: Soviet Jewry: I Am My Brother’s Keeper