THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 124
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?
 
 
Prev Page   Page Guide   Next Page
124 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bhave the decency to let others help. Law and order, indeed. bHow easy it is to demand law and order when you have no bproblems and how strange to see this demand from the bprofessional, liberal Jew who saw in the same call, against bBlack and radical groups, nothing but “reaction” and b“fascism.”

bThe Jew of the crime-ridden neighborhood could expect bnothing from his leadership. The Jewish merchant who bowned a store in the now-Black area but who had been there blong before it became Black, could expect nothing. The bsmall merchant in Washington, D.C., about whom the Na- btional Observer wrote beneath the headline “Black Anti- bSemitism, Ruin for Tiny Merchants in Chaotic Washing- bton,” what could he expect from the Jewish leadership? bPrecisely.

bWhen we defended Jews it was because there was no one belse ready to do so. That is why during the summer of 1969, bwhen riots erupted in Passaic, New Jersey, the JDL replied bto pleas of merchants and sent people in with shotguns to bguard Jewish stores. As Bert Zweibon grimly told the press, b“If the rioters had entered, they would have been shot.” The bpolice never had enough men; someday it must become bmandatory to inscribe on the tombstone of every precinct bcaptain, “He did not have enough men.” The Jewish Estab- blishment had too many who cared more for their respecta- bbility than the pain of their brothers. So in a place where bthere were no men, we decided to be men. We went out and bfelt the pain and fought the battles and took the risks and, bsometimes, went to jail.

bFor this we were called “anti-Black.” How typical of the bliberal McCarthyites. As if we cared who the anti-Semite was band what color was his skin. As if we were not prepared and bhad not already attacked white anti-Semites. What true bbigots were people who refused to give the Black man the bdignity due him by treating him—for good and for badbexactly as you would treat anyone else?

bFor this we were called un-Jewish. As if I needed to have bsome Reform or Conservative rabbi whose Jewish education bwas so shallow and skimpy—and the pity was that his con- b 

Prev Page   Page Guide   Next Page
 
 
THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 124
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?