THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 135
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?
 
 
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Violence 135

bhood to warn them that we expected them to report and bsuspend all violent students; a campaign against block- bbusting, that practice whereby real estate dealers attempt to bpanic residents into selling their homes with rumors of bBlacks coming into the area. Here the slogan was: b“Blockbusters get their blocks busted.” Above all, however, I bsaid that I wanted to get every Jew in East Flatbush and in bthe city to purchase legal firearms and learn to shoot them. I bstated that I wanted every Jewish home to have a gun and beveryone to know. I wanted the Jewish neighborhood to bacquire a “dangerous” reputation as one bristling with bweapons. Naturally, both the police and Mayor John bLindsay bitterly attacked the plan, with Lindsay saying that bthe solution was to ban guns, not spread them. I retorted bthat when Mr. Lindsay could assure me that he had per- bsuaded all the hoodlums to give up theirs, JDL would give bup theirs.

bOn the steaming hot night of August 30, more than 1,500 bresidents of East Flatbush packed Tilden High School to bhear me outline the plan for “Every Jew a .22” and “to turn bback the tide with Jewish Power.” Applications for gun bpermits and order forms for shotguns and rifles were dis- btributed. I bitterly attacked Mayor Lindsay and the police bfor failing to carry out the elementary job of governing— bprotection of citizens—and told the crowd that it was tragic bthat it took a murder to bring them to the realization that the bJDL philosophy was the correct one.

b“You have been doing here what Jews have been doing so blong and so well—running. You must stop backing off when byou are pushed and begin to stand up for your rights as bcitizens. . . . We’re not going to let this community turn binto another Brownsville.”

bEfforts to prevent Jewish communities from turning into b“Brownsvilles” meant quite simply stopping the crime, the bviolence, the terror, and the panic that gave birth to flight band the destruction of Jewish communities that had en- bdured for decades, along with their synagogues, centers, bschools, and other institutions that could not be replaced in bthe new neighborhood for five times the original cost. It b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 135
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?