THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 102
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?
 
 
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102 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bmake his demand, we decided that he would not, and I so binformed the rabbi of the Temple, Dr. Nathan A. bPerlman (Perlman was actually only one of several rabbis bthat the temple was able to support in the manner that cer- btain kinds of rabbis have become accustomed to). Dr. Perl- bman was most unhappy with the news and made a number bof efforts to dissuade us from coming down. It was obvious bthat he was of the “Quiet, don’t make trouble” school.

bAt the same time we attempted to contact Forman and bwhen we could not, we asked the SNCC (Student Nonvio- blent [sic] Coordinating Committee) with which he gener- bally associated, to please inform him that if he showed up bwith his extortion demands “we would break both his blegs.”

bLet it be clearly understood why we did all this. To bbegin with, the Forman incident had to be seen against a bbackground of years of growing violence and Jew-hatred bthat had erupted among a significant section of the Black bcommunity. This had manifested itself in a bitter teachers’ bstrike that had unleashed open and blatant anti-Semitism. bIt had carried on in the form of harassment, arson, and bmurder against Jewish merchants in predominantly Black bneighborhoods, in crime that had made Jewish fringe bareas nightmares of violence and fear, and in demands bfor Black and Puerto Rican quotas in schools that would bhave destroyed the merit system and eroded Jewish rights band power to an alarming degree. Indeed, at that mo- bment, City College of New York, once one of the finest bschools in the country and which, under the merit system, bhad given deserving youth an opportunity to both be bbenefited and benefit the country, was in the throes of a bmonth-long takeover by Black students which had seen a btotal capitulation by the timid President Buell Gallagher band a riot in which a number of Jewish students had been bbeaten over the heads with lead pipes.

bThe reaction to all this was even more frightening than bthe problem. New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay, with bhis presidential aspirations, backed away from confronta- btion after confrontation in his long-range effort to acquire b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 102
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?