THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 172
Chapter 5: I Am a Jew
 
 
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172 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bentire day-to-day workings of the JDL would be meaning- bless, was matched by the unexpected distinction between b“Americans” and others. It was not only that the board did bnot seem to understand that the school was going to pro- bduce leaders who would work in America, but that there bwere people on it who did not want Israel to be so important bin JDL ideology. Thus the finest idea JDL ever had was btorpedoed by the executive board, and, worse, it was a bsymptom of a tinyness of mind that we had always associated bwith the other Jewish groups. With my passport taken from bme I could only rage in frustration and watch my fears bconfirmed as JDL lost more and more youth when the initial bglow of excitement died away.

bMy personal battle to regain my passport and return to bthe United States centered around my desire to create the bJewish Identity Center, the most important project for our btime. I cannot believe that somewhere, in that great waste- bland of people who have money to spend on Las Vegas bjunkets, to give to Angela Davis and the Panthers, to throw binto every silly, absurd, mod cause, there is not one Jew who bunderstands the need for the school.

bTo sum up. Some years ago a symposium was held, in the bcourse of which a number of young Jewish intellectuals were basked to give their ideas of Judaism and the Jewish people. bMost replied in decidedly negative terms. It is clear that the bmain difference between them and so many of their less bintellectual contemporaries was that the former were both a bbit ahead of their times as well as able to clarify their bthoughts more succinctly and clearly. But in great measure, bthe blasé attitudes of the intellectuals toward intermarriage, bIsrael, their own continuity as Jews, as well as that of their bchildren, have become accepted by more and more of the byoung American Jew. Thus, in the words of one of the bintellectuals, Lionel Rogosin:

b“With Auschwitz and Hiroshima as warnings it is folly to bignore world events and to concern oneself solely with bJewish affairs. Fifty years ago it was natural to indulge in bsuch escapism but today Jews must subordinate this natural binclination.

b“As for my children . . . I want them to be familiar with b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 172
Chapter 5: I Am a Jew