THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 200
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?
 
 
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200 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bput out by the Panthers, and announced that we were going bto disrupt Bernstein’s next concert. The reaction was almost binstantaneous. On January 26, shortly after the story broke band as we prepared to go to the concert, a letter from bBernstein was hand-delivered. The poor man explained bhimself, said that he knew that the Panthers were anti- bIsrael, but that he found it necessary to defend the civil bliberties of all people. He concluded: “I find it deplorable band painful that I, should be placed in a defensive position bby fellow Jews when there are so many important issues on bwhich we should be working together.”

bWe laughed grimly. Would Bernstein, we asked, hold a bparty for the American Nazi Party when their civil liberties bwere threatened? When had he invited Mrs. Astor, et al, to a bparty to raise funds for Jewish Panthers or Soviet Jews or boppressed and crime-ridden Jewish neighborhoods? Would bhe hold such a party? At one point in the party for the bPanthers, after Cox had mouthed some nonsense or other, bBernstein was quoted as replying, “I dig absolutely.” We bignored his pathetic effort to curry favor with Cox by using bwhat he had read in the Village Voice was proper Panther blanguage, and made up an ad for The New York Times that basked, “What do you dig, Lenny?” It was a rhetorical ques- btion and our reply was, “You dig the grave of Israel and of bJews in America.” It is of interest to note that The New York bTimes, champion of civil liberties, refused the advertise- bment.

bWe picketed Bernstein’s concert and threw leaflets from bthe balcony at heavily guarded Lincoln Center. With no bhope of changing Bernstein’s mentality, we wanted to make bsure that he would be burned so badly that he would never bagain do such a thing. Bernstein and the Bernsteins of the bworld had been so assimilated and gentilized that they quite bhonestly could see nothing wrong in aiding Jewish enemies bif it was for a liberal cause, and it was our job to make sure bthat young Jews would be better than the Bernsteins of the bworld, would devote their money and talents to Jewish is- bsues, would worry over Jewish problems.

bMrs. Burton Lane from suburban Stamford, Connect- b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 200
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?