THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 216
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?
 
 
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216 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bthem the ball” rather than “make trouble,” rather than rock bthe boat, rather than assert our rights. Every Jewish mother bwho told her son to cross the street rather than fight, taught bhim to “give them the ball.” Every Jewish group that failed bto assert Jewish rights under the guise of tolerance and bmorality, “gave them the ball.” If we allowed ourselves to blose the ball of merit, it was not so much that they took it, as bthe fact that we gave it.

bAnd then there was poverty, Jewish poverty, yet another bball that the Uncle Jakes and Sidneys let “them” take from bus.

bAnti-Semites believe or pretend to believe that all Jews are bRothschilds. One can understand that, coming as it does bfrom Jew-haters. Jews, on the other hand, while not going bquite that far, for years had pretended that there were no bJewish poor. Thus, the Jews who tanned themselves under bthe Miami sun, in between gorging themselves with rich bJewish food, never thought to look beyond the Foun- btainbleau and Eden Roc Hotels to a 30-square-mile area bknown as South Beach. There nearly 30,000 Jews, some 80 bpercent of them over sixty-five, wallow in the misery of an bannual income of less than $3,000. In New York in 1971 at bleast 200,000 Jews lived on incomes under $3,000 a year, bwith another 100,000 at the $4,500 level, making Jews the bthird largest poverty group in the city. A National Opinion bResearch Survey on income reported that fully 15 percent bof Jewish households had incomes of $3,000 or less a year; b15 percent of six million Jews adds up to a great many poor bJews that no one had bothered with.

bNot only are there a great many poor Jews, but the fact bthat they are old adds to their misery as most live in bneighborhoods where the other, younger and richer, Jews bhave fled, leaving them behind to the horrors of crime, bterror, and loneliness. In neighborhoods like Brownsville in bBrooklyn, once a thriving, bustling Jewish neighborhood, bnow a surrealistic thing with buildings that look bombed out band are at least burned out, with drugs, crime, welfare and bviolence, the elderly Jews lock themselves into their apart- bments in fear. They have no synagogues, they have no b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 216
Chapter 6: Jewish Power: Is It Good for Jews?