THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 50
Chapter 2: Brussels
 
 
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50 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bwas a golden opportunity that I knew would be thrown away bunless the Jewish activists could persuade the delegates to breject the timid Respectables who ran the Conference.

bI knew that many young Jews would be there and that a blarge delegation from Israel, including former Irgun chief band now opposition leader Menahem Begin, would be in battendance. If I could speak and outline my ideas I knew bthat a large number of the delegates would agree. And even bif the conference itself did not approve an activist bprogram—a program which I deliberately stated would be bnonviolent—at least numbers of Jews from all over the bworld would have the opportunity of forging some kind of bfederated group of Jewish activists for Soviet Jewry.

bAs I sped to the airport I mulled over the fact that I had bjust been convicted for a protest on behalf of Soviet Jewry, bone of countless protests that the vast majority of the dele- bgates who had already gathered in Brussels had never par- bticipated in. Yet, ironically, in my pocket was a refusal to be brecognized as a delegate, courtesy of the American Confer- bence on Soviet Jewry. In my heart was the knowledge that bSoviet Jews faced the strong possibility of physical destruc- btion at the hands of the Kremlin and that the Brussels bConference, dealing only in platitudes, would do nothing to balleviate that danger.

bI went with the hope that my appearance there would bprompt a majority of delegates who believed, not in JDL, bbut in the right of free speech, to move on the conference bfloor for my right to appear. I had in my pocket a second bpaper. On it were ten points, ten concrete points, which I bbelieved would help to bring freedom to Soviet Jews. I bhoped to be allowed to present those points to the delegates bso that they might hear them and weigh them, so that they bmight have the democratic choice of accepting all of them, bor some of them, or none at all. Here are those ten points, bthe alternative to a resolution that merely piously pro- bclaimed our hopes for Jewish freedom:

b11.aAn immediate end to all Western talks with the b11.aUSSR, including talks on disarmament, space, cul- b11.ature, and trade.

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 50
Chapter 2: Brussels