THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 95
Chapter 3: The Jewish Establishment
 
 
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The Jewish Establishment 95

bpolicy that was to become the subject of a bitter debate bamong Jews in the United States and the world as they bargued the propriety of “Jewish violence.”

bWe did not care. I do not remember exactly when the bphrase “Never Again” came up in the JDL, but I do recall bthe first time it was used in public. Bert Zweibon, addressing ba packed Bronx civic meeting, strode to the lectern, looked bat the audience, and began his speech by slowly and deliber- bately crying out “Never Again!” The impact was electrify- bing. It was a call that laid to rest the apathy, fear, shame, and black of feeling. It was shorthand for the following article, bwhich I had written in May 1969 under the heading: b“Where Were We?”

b“The calls began to come through as the week went by. bStudents at CCNY and Brooklyn who suddenly saw the bdevil face-to-face; residents of Williamsburg who had un- bexpectedly come to grips with the reality of a racial confron- btation; a homeowner in East Flatbush whose neighborhood bhad become a living hell; a rabbi who suddenly awoke to the bthreat to his synagogue by a James Forman.

b“The common denominator that threaded its way bthrough all these calls to the Jewish Defense League office bwas: We need help: give it to us.

b“We get what we deserve. That is an indisputable fact. bThe thought must run through our minds as the calls come bin. That and another one: where were you until now?

b“It is usually our own blood that sets us in motion; we bseldom bleed for others. It is usually our own suffering that bpricks us; rarely do we weep for the strange victims.

b“The Jewish teachers yawned, Jewish Defense—until they bwere face-to-face with Leslie Campbell. It was the threat to btheir own skins that suddenly galvanized them into action, bnot a burst of new-found idealism. It is a local problem that bsends a stream of neighbors joining a defense group, not bthe problem of the other locality. We look inwardly; we live bfor ourselves; we rarely give a damn as long as the sun shines bbrightly on our own fortunes.

b“The turning point has not yet arrived; Jewish salvation is byet to come. Why? Because we still have not learned the b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 95
Chapter 3: The Jewish Establishment