THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 115
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?
 
 
Prev Page   Page Guide   Next Page
Violence 115

bWe saw the CCNY developments as part of a potential bdisaster for Jews of America. If the merit system would be bscrapped, it would be not only in schools but in jobs and bevery area of life. The Jew, with 3 percent of the total bpopulation of the United States, would face the same impos- bsible situation that he had faced in Europe under numerus bclausus. Jewish opportunity and power would be wrecked, band indeed this is exactly what Daniel Moynahan had bwarned against years before, remarks that earned for him bthe attacks of a number of liberal Jews. And so we fought the bphenomenon on a number of levels.

bPerhaps the most interesting and bizarre was the day we bdecided to carry quotas to their logical conclusion, by an- bnouncing (we thought, as an obvious put-on) that we were bdemanding that the New York Mets baseball team agree bimmediately to the hiring of enough Jews on the team to bmake up 26.2 percent of their roster—we assumed that that bwas the percentage of Jews in New York City. In a letter to bthe late Johnny Murphy, the Mets’ general manager, I bwrote:

b“Jews for years have suffered the disability of Jewish bmothers who insisted that they get an education. Because of bthis, they have been disadvantaged, unable to compete with bother groups in athletics. Under the merit system they are bunfairly excluded from full participation in American life. bWe demand that the Mets immediately agree to a roster that bwill include 26.2 percent Jews.”

bThat June, as the annual talent draft of players was held at bNew York’s Americana Hotel, JDL demonstrators, includ- bing two in baseball uniform, appeared and a wide-eyed bcrowd read such banners as: “Racist, colonialist, imperialist, bfascist Mets” and “Merit, shmerit, we want our quota,” while bthe uniformed ones carried “So what if I can’t hit, I’m bmotivated” and “The hell with second base. No more to- bkenism. I want to pitch.” As an added fillip, we had one b“Bulgarian” with us who demanded, as part of his quota, bthat 0.03 percent of the Mets be Bulgarian. Probably the bfunniest part of the whole affair was the fact that so many btook it seriously! A CBS staff man wrote us a blistering letter b 

Prev Page   Page Guide   Next Page
 
 
THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 115
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?