THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 234
Chapter 7: Aliyah: Time to Go Home
 
 
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234 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bfull plenary session. I refused. Finally, Rivlin asked whether bI would agree to having the issue raised with the Congress bpresidium and I agreed to wait in his office while this was bbeing done. The Congress morning session was conse- bquently delayed more than an hour while I, Pincus, and bJewish Agency official Avraham Shenker argued. Shenker, ba bitter Marxist, and I hit it off poorly from the beginning. bRivlin soon came back to state that the presidium had voted bagainst allowing me to speak, with only the Herut members band Rabbi Bernard Bergman of the National Religious bParty voting for my right to speak. The Herut, however, had bdemanded a full plenary session vote.

bAs I entered the hall where the Congress was in session, bMr. Pincus was addressing the session and a huge round of bcheers and boos greeted me. There was excitement in the air bfor the first time since the Congress opened and the hall was bpacked with delegates and spectators. To quote again from bthe Jerusalem Post:

b“Speaking in favor of the Herut move to the plenum was bRussian immigrant Mrs. Lydia Slovina. ‘Kahane is a bZionist,’ she declared. ‘Even his enemies cannot deny that. bHas he not given enough of his life to the cause of Soviet bJewry, which is supposed to be the theme of this Congress? bOne need not necessarily agree with his methods, but there bis no danger in free debate.’

b“She said it was Kahane who brought the problem of bSoviet Jewry to the headlines of the U.S. press. ‘Russian Jews bhave not heard of many of the American Zionist organiza- btions, but they have all heard of Kahane.’”

bPincus spoke against the proposal, completely ignoring bthe fact that the JDL application to the American Zionist bFederation had been ignored for two years, and spoke of the b“democratic structure” of the Congress being endangered. bIn the end, a majority voted against me, with the Herut, bmany religious delegates, and parts of each delegation that bhad been allowed a free vote going against the leadership bline and voting for me. I immediately arose and, to mixed bcheers and boos, left the hall to abide by my promise not to bbreak up the meeting. Outside I told newsmen that the vote b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 234
Chapter 7: Aliyah: Time to Go Home