THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 203
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?
 
 
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Jewish Power 203

band a huge Panther warning us every fifteen minutes to get bthe            out of there or we would be sorry.

bThat evening, television networks devoted an inordinate bamount of time to the unprecedented spectacle, the first btime that someone had picketed the Panthers in Harlem, on btheir own “turf.” And to make the incident even more bincredible, it was done by Jews! Within minutes of the tele- bvising of the incident a call was received at our Fifth Avenue boffices. It was a law-enforcement officer in West Virginia bcalling to say that “that was the greatest thing I have ever bseen in my life.” Hertz called, too, the next day with a brequest not to use its trucks for such things again. But the bmost important result was the following week’s Black Pan- bther News, which carried a full-page story in loud and angry btones complaining about the JDL’s “attack” on them and bmaking us seem like the most vicious and dangerous group bon the American scene. We blessed them because if Black bPanthers were afraid of the JDL, then black hoodlums beverywhere would think twice about acting against Jews. bAnd that was precisely our purpose.

bThe call for Jewish Power on the part of the JDL and its bdemand that Jewish groups concern themselves first and bforemost with Jewish questions—using the yardstick: Is it bgood for the Jews?—was prompted by the erosion of Jewish brights in many areas and the accompanying failure of Jewish bgroups to care or to act. In a major article in the Jewish Press bon June 4, 1971, I discussed “The Rape of the Jew,” and the bcalling of a Conference of Oppressed Jewish Neighbor- bhoods, whose purpose would be to form Neighborhood bJewish Power Councils to deal with the many Jewish prob- blems that had been allowed to fester. In the article I stated:

b“It is not true that all Jewish problems lie overseas. Our battention is riveted to the plight of the Jews of the Soviet bUnion and the Arab lands; we are troubled by American bpressure on the State of Israel to accept a suicidal ‘peace.’ bBut there are Jewish problems at home and there are Jews in bthe United States who suffer too. That which we and our bEstablishment organizations did not do for Jews elsewhere, bwe do not do for these persecuted Jews at home, either.

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 203
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?