THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 252
Chapter 7: Aliyah: Time to Go Home
 
 
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252 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

b“We love America but in the end the place of the Jew is in bthe Jewish State. We love America . . . but we feel in the bmarrow of our bones that after two thousand years it is time bto go home.”

bThe response on the part of the Jewish Establishment was bimmediate. It can be summed up by the Jewish Post and bOpinion, which stated: “The Jewish community is getting baccustomed to the Jewish Defense League and its tactics, but bit must have been patient to accept the militant group’s latest badvertisement in The New York Times, headed “Jew Go bHome.”

bRabbi Irving Lehrman, President of the Synagogue bCouncil of America, the group that “coordinates Conserva- btive, Reform, and Orthodox Judaism in the United States,” bbranded us “irresponsible merchants of doom.” He said that ball American citizens “must redouble their vigilance to make bcertain that it [the Holocaust] will not happen here” and bthen went on to state an argument that was to be repeated bagain and again by the opponents of emergency aliyah to bIsrael: “For neither Israel nor the civilized world as we know bit could survive such an eventuality in the United States, bwhich is still the best hope for mankind.”

bThe argument that Israel could not survive the downfall bof the Jewish community in America was typical of the kind bof rabbi that Lehrman was. The thought of the Jewish State bcoming into being as the miracle of G-d, by His decision and bas a supernatural thing that could withstand all even- btualities, was foreign to the “modern” rabbi.

bEven the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America was baghast as it issued a statement saying that our words “put binto jeopardy the status of the American Jew” and did harm bboth to him and to Israel.

bThe paper for which I wrote, the Jewish Press, showed bmuch the same myopia as in an editorial, “Panic Button bDiplomacy,” it declared that JDL’s call had “an aspect of bexaggeration” to it and concluded with the comment that “if ba young person wants to emigrate to Israel it should be done bon the basis that he wants to go to help, not escape.”

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 252
Chapter 7: Aliyah: Time to Go Home