THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 199
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?
 
 
Prev Page   Page Guide   Next Page
Jewish Power 199

bbefore anything else? These were the questions that we bdemanded that every Jew and every Jewish group ask, and bwe clashed, in a well-publicized case, on just that issue with bthe famous composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein.

bQuestion: What do you get for the conductor, bon vivant, bcelebrity, and very rich man in his Park Avenue duplex, who bhas everything? In the case of Leonard Bernstein the an- bswer was: a Black Panther.

bAnd so it was that on the night of January 14, 1970, Mrs. bBernstein brought home not just one but several very real bBlack Panthers, to the delight of Mr. Bernstein and some bninety jaded guests of high and low society. Among them bwere Mrs. Vincent Astor, Mrs. Arthur Krim (her husband bwas President Johnson’s chief fund-raiser), Parks Commis- bsioner August Hechscher’s wife, Otto Preminger, art dealer bRichard Feigen, composer Burton Lane, and a whole host of b“beautiful people” excited at the opportunity to meet bPanthers. And they arrived, the “entertainment,” allowing bthemselves to be goggled at by the people they envied and bhated and would kill if they had the chance. They had come bbecause Leonard Bernstein and his wife wanted to raise bail bmoney for twenty-one Black Panthers accused of plotting to bkill policemen and conspiring to dynamite department bstores, police stations, and railroad facilities. The leader of bthe pack was Donald Cox, a “field marshal” in the Panthers, bwho told the politely attentive guests that America was “the bmost oppressive country in the world,” and then hastily bassured a frightened matron that she would not be killed beven if she was a rich capitalist.

bCox had just recently returned from a trip to Algeria, bwhere he had joined Eldridge Cleaver in an attack upon bZionism and praise of the Fatah terrorists. The Bernsteins braised $10,000 for the Black Panthers that evening. “This bwas not a frivolous party,” said Mrs. Bernstein, “but a bchance for all of us to hear what’s been happening to the bPanthers. They’ve really been treated very inhumanely.”

bAt JDL, the news of the party roused us to call a press bconference at which we bitterly denounced Bernstein, dis- bplayed an array of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist literature b 

Prev Page   Page Guide   Next Page
 
 
THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 199
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?