THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 176
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?
 
 
Prev Page   Page Guide   Next Page
176 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bdisaster for the Jews of New York, and its ceaseless efforts bhad culminated that week in a major advertisement that bblamed the mayor for tolerating “a violent outpouring of banti-Jewish hate,” for not acting against “the presence of banti-Semites on the city payroll,” and for maintaining si- blence on “a reign of terror against Jewish merchants.” But babove all, the ad had called upon Jews—as Jews—to vote bagainst Lindsay because he was disastrous for Jewish in- bterests. And it was this that frightened and angered the bJewish leaders.

bIt was this, the call for a Jewish vote, that galvanized the bfrightened “leaders” into action and Goldberg was hastily brecruited to lead the attack. The former Supreme Court bJustice stood before the press and read from the signed bstatement asking Jews “to ignore all such offensive appeals, bto vote as they see fit for the candidate of their choice.” bMandelbaum denounced the JDL for “wicked, irresponsi- bble talk.” It was remarkable how bothered were the Jewish b“finest” by the heretical concept of a Jewish vote and how bthey insisted again and again that there was no such concept.

bWe at JDL were not prepared to argue whether there was bsuch a concept or not; our point was that, if there was no bJewish vote, there should be one. We wanted Jewish Power to bbe brought to bear for the benefit of Jews. We wanted Jews bto start worrying—as Jews, and for Jews. We wanted the bimmense Jewish political, economic, and social resources to bbe gathered, coordinated, and brought to bear in the battle bfor Jewish interests and Jewish rights, because we knew that bno one gave a damn about Jews except other Jews and that bwhile the Chicanos and grape and lettuce pickers would find bsympathy and support from everywhere, only the Jew bwould, in the end, help the other Jew. We knew that while bJews had marched for every minority group in America, bthey could stand by the Soviet Embassy on behalf of Russian bJewry and wait for many a long and cold day without seeing bour Black, Puerto Rican, and other allies. We wanted Jews to bstop thinking as liberals or conservatives or anything else band begin thinking as Jews. We wanted a Jewish vote just as bBlack leaders, with so much more courage and acumen than b 

Prev Page   Page Guide   Next Page
 
 
THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 176
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?