THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 151
Chapter 5: I Am a Jew
 
 
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I Am a Jew 151

ball its tragedy as well as its dignity. Rabbi Kahane brought bout a spirit long dormant, too long dormant in the soul of bJewish youth. The emotion and applause was strictly unbe- blievable.”

bI dwell on this particular visit because it is such a clear bexample of both the tragedy and the hope of the Jewish bcommunity. For the same visit to Toronto that produced bsuch a magnificent resurgence of Judaism among the stu- bdents was preceded by the totalitarian tactics that we have bsince come to know from the Jewish Establishment.

bWhen word of my speaking engagement got out, several bleaders of the community contacted the Hillel director, bRabbi Eliezri, and demanded that he cancel the visit. He brefused. This led the Hillel Advisory Board, the B’nai B’rith bbody that controls the Hillel finances, to threaten not to sign bany checks in connection with the program, and, according bto Or, “There were even some implications that Rabbi Eliez- bri’s job was in danger.”

bAbout a week before my arrival, a meeting was called at bthe offices of the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Holy See of bCanadian Jewry. The CJC attempted to persuade the stu- bdents to cancel the invitation, and when they refused, a bthreat was made to cut off funds for the entire Soviet Jewish bWeek program, despite the fact that this was entirely sepa- brate from my visit. The pressure was so intense at that point bthat Rabbi Eliezri was forced to agree to cancel Hillel spon- bsorship of the program. Again to quote Or, “The students bwere livid with anger.”

bA final attempt to stop me from appearing was made at a bfull meeting of the Joint Community Relations Committee bof the CJC and the B’nai B’rith. Once again, the students bstood firm and I appeared. A classic case of the to- btalitarianism of the Jewish Establishment which helped to bdestroy Jewish youth and then, with the arrogance that bcomes with power, attempts to prevent the slightest dissent bfrom being expressed.

bThey failed. At campus after campus, all over the United bStates and Canada, I was invited to speak and the JDL bpresence brought out huge audiences of young Jews who bsensed, somehow, that this was something different, excit- b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 151
Chapter 5: I Am a Jew