THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 110
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?
 
 
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110 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

brejected our demands, as we knew they would, on the bgrounds that (1) anti-Semitism exists and it is the station’s bfunction to “vent hostilities for public discussion,” and (2) bwhile anti-Semitism was “deeply repugnant,” the First bAmendment could not be betrayed.

bOur reply was that (1) the existence of Auschwitz in no bway merits an opportunity for the perpetrators to spread btheir message but rather calls for their departure from the bpublic scene, (2) the time had come to redefine free speech bas not applying to haters and people who call for the death bof other people, and (3) we would hold “the angriest dem- bonstration Jews have ever held in New York” on the night bof Lester’s next broadcast.

bThe night of January 30 was a cold, wet one and literally bhundreds of Jews gathered in front of the station in a noisy bprotest. On the roof I and ten other JDL people stood bwaiting for the Lester program to begin so that we might bcrash into the studio and stop it. To our misfortune, the bpolice, worried over the hostile crowd, searched the roof band found us. History should record that the first arrest of a bJDL member was that of Irving Calderon. Downstairs, as bLester arrived, a riot broke out and police had to lead the bfrightened militant into the building. Nearby a rival group bmade up of leftists, mostly Jewish, picketed on behalf of the bradio station and against “Jewish fascists.” A violent clash bbroke out and four people were arrested before police rein- bforcements broke up the melee and closed off the street. It bhad indeed been the angriest Jewish demonstration, and it bwas about time.

bThe results of the clash were predictable. Quietly, WBAI bordered the ending of all hate utterances, leading to a pro- btest about a year later by various leftists against the station’s b“blandness.” It was the first of many demonstrations by JDL bthat “violence is never good but sometimes necessary.”

bThe same month, Black anti-Semitism cropped up openly bin yet another place, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, bwhich announced an exhibition, “Harlem on My Mind.” An bintroduction to the exhibit’s catalogue by a young Black girl, bCandice Van Ellison, said, among other things, “Behind b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 110
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?