THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 55
Chapter 2: Brussels
 
 
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Brussels 55

bIsraeli Government, which could have changed everything bwith one word.

bIn the end, the conference reached its shameful climax as bone of the heroes of modern Jewish history, Menahem bBegin, dissented from a resolution condemning the JDL band accused the Establishment of ordering my arrest. He bwas jeered from the floor as B’nai B’rith patrician William bWexler left his seat and approached, shouting “Liar!” Begin bdid not reply but broke his silence when Jewish Agency bExecutive member Rose Halpern, in one of her famed bludicrous hats, shouted at him, “Fascist!”

bAnd Begin, the man who led the Jewish national libera- btion force the Irgun Zvai Leumi into the pages of Jewish bhistory, the man who risked his life every minute for so bmany years, the man who fled from the British and whose bfamily lived in constant fear while Mrs. Halpern enjoyed the bgood life in America, turned to her and quietly replied:

b“Madam, you have a hat on your head. I had a price on bmine.”

bThey booed Begin, the little men and women (Mrs. Hal- bpern’s hats are her only claim to fame and they constitute bthe little that makes up the contents of her head). The bplanned and programmed conference continued. Such bstalwart fighters for Soviet Jewish freedom as Professor bHans Morgenthau, in all his Teutonic caution, counseled b“quiet diplomacy” and not violence. Handpicked Soviet Jew bKraina Shur—handpicked for the words that the Israeli bForeign Ministry made sure she would say—told the con- bference that “Jews should be active but not overdo it.” In the bend, after the American Jew of Jews, Arthur Goldberg, had bin his usual dynamic fashion, stirred the audience with an bappeal “to the conscience of mankind,” the conference bpassed its one and only operative resolution—aside from bthe one that condemned JDL. It called upon Moscow to bgrant its fellow citizens the right to follow their religious bcustoms and, should they so decide, to emigrate to Israel. bThis was the grand result of the conference that moved even bPaddy Chayefsky to dryly declare that he had expected bmore than “ritual Jewish cries from the heart and tributes to b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 55
Chapter 2: Brussels