THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 281
Chapter 8: Wherever There Is Jewish Pain
 
 
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Wherever There Is Jewish Pain 281

bhundred strong in helmets and clubs. Led by Yossi Tem- bpleman, they declared that Jewish rights would be respected bby the administration or we would “take Brooklyn College bapart brick by brick.” It was, again, not very elegant, but, bagain, most effective. The rate of anti-Jewish incidents bdropped and the psychological atmosphere changed bdramatically. Jews were not hated less but the haters were bmuch more cautious about translating that hate into action.

JEWS IN ARAB LANDS

bThe problem of Jews in Arab lands, particularly Syria and bIraq, was a more difficult one for us than that of Soviet bJewry because, unlike the latter, there was very little lever- bage that Jews had with the truly insane regimes in Baghdad band Damascus. Whereas Moscow wanted détente badly and bthus a threat to it would bring concessions, there was very blittle that we could threaten the Iraqis and Syrians with. bMore than that, the Jewish public was not as emotionally binvolved with the latter cases and even my efforts to speak band to radicalize the Syrian and Sephardic Jewish com- bmunities in New York met with little success. It was disheart- bening to find myself unable to move people in the Syrian bcommunity of Brooklyn, many of whom had close relatives bin Syria.

bDespite this, picketing of the one Syrian installation in the bUnited States, the United Nations Mission—Syria had no brelations with Washington since the Six Day War—did take bplace, and Jewish militants on two occasions broke into the boffice, roughed up personnel, and painted the walls. As far bas Iraq was concerned, the country that had hanged twelve bJews in a public square in 1969 was rumored to be planning banother show trial and hangings around Passover time, b1971. On April 11, we called for a rally on behalf of the Iraqi bJews, and more than five hundred Jews marched across the bstreet from the Iraqi UN Mission on Manhattan’s East 79th bStreet with signs reading “Freedom for Iraqi Jews” and b“Three Iraqis for every Jew.” I stood on top of an au- btomobile and spoke to the Iraqis listening behind drawn bblinds:

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 281
Chapter 8: Wherever There Is Jewish Pain