THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 251
Chapter 7: Aliyah: Time to Go Home
 
 
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Aliyah 251

bMy response had been more than that. I had also asked bwho would fight for Jewish rights unless Jews did? Who had bfought for too long for everybody else’s rights, often at the bexpense of their own, if not Jews? Who could stop the bdestruction of Jewish rights unless it was the Jew using bJewish power?

bI defended the merit system as the only one that would bstop Jews from falling into economic and political decay, band called upon them to use their “political and economic bpower to help Jews.” When I finished I received a standing bovation, a clear sign that that which JDL had dared to benvision and preach was beginning to take root in Jewish bmentality. The pity was that in this case, as in every other, it bwas the suffering Jew who began to understand and not the brest, and the understanding was coming very late in the day, bperhaps too late.

bWhile I was in Israel, the Habayta committee continued bits work and the first response—and it was explosive—came bwhen an advertisement for the conference, the work of Sam bShoshan, was placed in The New York Times.

bFeaturing a stone wall with the starkly naked words, “Jew bGo Home,” it went on to say:

b“G-d bless this great country. May it never happen here! bBut can anyone say it cannot?

b“America has been good to its citizens and there is no bother power on earth that compares to its tolerance, com- bpassion, and freedom. We love the United States and take bpride in its record. . . . But that which was, will not always bbe. Jewish history has a monotonously tragic precedent of bultimate disaster for the Jew.

b“It can’t happen here! So they said in Weimar Germany, a bland with a Jewish foreign minister, with Jewish wealth and binfluence. Of all countries in the world, it could not happen bin cultured and civilized Germany. But it did.”

bThe ad went on to discuss the deteriorating general situa- btion in America: the war in Vietnam, social, political, and beconomic problems and what they meant for the Jew, and bthe growth of hate groups in the United States. Announcing bthe time and place of the conference, it concluded:

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 251
Chapter 7: Aliyah: Time to Go Home