THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 179
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?
 
 
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Jewish Power 179

bdo not vote as a bloc or in response to any single issue,’ the bB’nai B’rith resolution read, and its sense was seconded by byet another of the respectable Establishment groups, the bAmerican Jewish Congress, whose new president asked all bJewish leaders to refrain from leaving the arena of neutral- bity because neither American Jews nor Israelis would bbenefit from members of the Jewish Establishment . . . busing their offices to declare that one candidate is better for bJewish interests than another.

b“What has really been said here by the shepherds of the bAmerican Jewish flock is this:

b“The American Jew should never create the impression bthat there is a ‘Jewish issue’ and that there is therefore a bneed for a ‘Jewish stand’ and a ‘Jewish bloc of Jewish vote’; bthat Jews should never vote in terms of specifically Jewish bself-interest; that Jewish pressure should never be unified band aimed at the frank threatening of candidates with de- bfeat unless they vote for or against something that Jews bwant; that the Jew should not create for himself a powerful bpolitical voice and use that voice in terms of Jewish self- binterest and look upon himself first and foremost as a Jew; bthat the Jew should be an American and vote as a liberal, bconservative, Democrat, or Republican—but not as a Jew. bHeaven forbid. . . .

b“It is true, and therein is the tragedy. That is the pity and bthe probable reason for the probable future destruction of bJewish rights in this country.

b“Our problem is indeed that our Jewish leaders and bJewish groups do not look upon every issue from the Jewish bpoint of view. Our problem is that there is no single-minded bpurpose to our leaders and no single yardstick that mea- bsures every issue and every candidate by the measure: Is it bgood for the Jews? Our problem is that our Jewish leaders bare a dichotomy: they are both meat and milk, Jewish and bother ‘ism,’ and all too often the other ‘ism’ takes prece- bdence over what is good for Jews. If there is a problem called bVietnam and the State of Israel makes it clear, as it has a bhundred times over, that an American defeat would be a bdefeat for Israel, this does not bother the American Jewish b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 179
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?