THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 121
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?
 
 
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Violence 121

bchange the Jewish image. We were weary unto death of bgentiles who came to memorial sites to praise the Jewish bmoral and spiritual beauty. We were sick unto the depths of bour souls of Kaddish, Yartzeit, and tears for noble Jews. The bJewish imperative was to live, and as I so often said, “All the bJewish spirit in Eastern Europe could not survive without bbodies.” Jewish “Panthers.” Every time the respectable Jew bheard it, he cringed. Every time we heard it, we smiled, for bthe sake of the poor, respectable Jew.

bAs JDL units patrolled crime-ridden and fear-scarred bJewish neighborhoods at night, as it moved in to tangle with bhoodlums, as it trained young Jews in self-defense, as it bconfronted and-Semites in schools and campuses, the origi- bnal negative reaction of the Establishment (Will Maslow of bthe American Jewish Congress should be credited with the bfirst public comment. Over radio station WINS in February b1969 he called the JDL “that impossible group”) became a bthundering and violent attack.

bAccording to Eisendrath and the Reform UAHC, JDL b“violates every ethic and tradition of Judaism and every bconcept of civil liberties and democratic process in Ameri- bcan life.”

bAccording to the Workman’s Circle, the JDL was a “self- bappointed vigilante group” that deserved the unified con- bdemnation of the Jewish community.

bAccording to the NJCRAC, in a statement endorsed by bthe American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Con- bgress, B’nai B’rith ADL, Jewish War Veterans, National bCouncil of Jewish Women, Union of American Hebrew bCongregations (Reform), Jewish Labor Committee, and bUnited Synagogue of America (Conservative), “Jewish se- bcurity does not lie in taking the law into one’s own hands. bUnfortunately, the JDL has fallen victim to the very tactics it bclaims to oppose. We consider its activities no less harmful band dangerous because it has called itself ‘Jewish’.”

bWe listened to these “leaders” and “Jewish” organizations, bconceived in ignorance, born in insecurity, and raised in bassimilation. How dare they speak for the poor Jews and the bcrime-ridden Jews and the terrified Jews and the suffering b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 121
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?