THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 58
Chapter 3: The Jewish Establishment
 
 
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         III

The Jewish Establishment

 

bThe Jew arrived in America in 1654 with his fears and his bexclusive religion. Three hundred years later he still has his bfears while his leadership has dedicated itself to guaran- bteeing that the fears will never become a reality even if it bmeans giving up that exclusiveness and any logical reason to bsurvive as a Jew. The American Jewish process of gentiliza- btion is a logical step in a whole series of steps that began bwhen the French Revolution ushered in the era known to bJews as the Emancipation. First in France and then in the brest of Western Europe, the walls of the ghetto fell and the bJew was given his first opportunity at something approach- bing equality and opportunity in some 1,700 years.

bHe hungered for it and seized the opportunity even while bknowing the price that was being asked. When Napoleon, in bcalling together his version of the Sanhedrin, asked the bFrench rabbis and leaders to give up their sense of nation- bhood, they did. In the words of their spokesman, Abraham bFurtado: “We no longer form a nation within a nation. bFrance is our country. Jews . . . your obligations are out- blined, your happiness is waiting.”

bIndeed it was, if by happiness one meant material happi- bness, wealth, drive for status, opportunity to behave like and bape the gentile, and the chance to assimilate and become “as ball the nations.” Jewish national identity was discarded with bguilty relief by the Jewish pursuers of freedom and all over bthe Western Europe there sprang up various nationals of b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 58
Chapter 3: The Jewish Establishment