THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 190
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?
 
 
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190 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bwhere Colombo was now being operated on. Aside from his bimmediate family, I noticed only Sammy Davis, Jr., the bentertainer, and a local radio personality, Bob Grant. I sat bwith the family, who thanked me for coming, and listened as bmembers of the small group, bodyguards and others, spoke bof the anger and tension against Blacks. I spent the next half bhour quietly attempting to divert anger away from Blacks band emphasizing that one should not blame a group for the bcrime of an individual. I cannot be sure of the effect my own bwords had, but I do know that as I left the hospital, Anthony bColombo was telling the press that the family did not blame bBlacks and urged all Italian-Americans to refrain from vio- blence.

bThe furor over accepting help from Colombo was always ba source of bittersweet amusement to me. Indeed, people bwere so upset over it that they were almost disappointed to bhear that we had given nothing for his support. I knew what bColombo wanted and he got that from us without our hav- bing to give a thing. Enmeshed in his own legal troubles, he bwas looking to project a more respectable image by showing bthat there was a group that was prepared to work with him bpublicly. The fact that The New York Times featured a picture bof a rabbi shaking his hand—even that rabbi—was a plus for bhim in his drive to polish his image. If this was what Co- blombo wanted, I had no objections to giving it to him. It was ball he ever got from us, and I hasten to say that I believe that, bhad he not been permanently incapacitated, the Civil Rights bLeague would have gone on to serve a badly needed and bpositive program in the Italian-American community, since bit was clear to me that Colombo was intrigued by the group band the things it was doing in the field of civic benefit and bhad begun to give more and more of his time to it.

bI say that I was amused over the Colombo furor because bJews are sometimes so illogical. Jewish history records the bfact that Theodor Herzl, founder of political Zionism, did bnot hesitate to sit and enlist the aid of the notorious czarist banti-Semite, Foreign Minister von Plehve, in his efforts to bget a homeland for Jews. The great Zev Jabotinsky worked bhard to interest the anti-Semitic government of Poland and b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 190
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?