THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 296
Chapter 8: Wherever There Is Jewish Pain
 
 
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296 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

barriving in Israel, in 1972 there were 34,000, 37,000 in b1973, and in 1974, as of this writing, it is expected that b40,000 will arrive. And these now include people of all ages band of almost every profession. When we began our drive, btelevision newsman Gabe Pressman had said, “You are a flea battacking an elephant.” The flea was, truly, not so small any blonger and the elephant much less powerful than people bthought.

bAnd, finally, we cannot forget the efforts of JDL on behalf bof a special group of Soviet Jews, the ones who were sen- btenced to prison and who languished in labor camps. In bparticular, the plight of Silva Zalmanson, sentenced to ten byears in prison as one of the Leningrad Trial defendants, bhad to be dealt with. Arriving in Israel in September, I was bcontacted by Miss Zalmanson’s uncle, Avraham, who lived bin Bat Yam. He pleaded with me to do something, saying bthat his niece suffered from tuberculosis and ulcers and was bdangerously ill. Nothing had been done by the Israeli au- bthorities, he said, and so I agreed to hold a joint press bconference in Jerusalem. There I told the press: “If any- bthing happens to Silva Zalmanson or another Jew, Soviet bdiplomats throughout the world will be open targets for bJewish militants.” I reminded the newsmen of the slogan b“Two Soviets for every Jew,” and assured them that, if bnecessary, it would be put into practice.

bFrom then on we made Silva Zalmanson the focal point of bour efforts. It was vital to get her name known to a world bthat knew all about Angela Davis but had never heard of the bJewish prisoner. To that end we used a number of devices. bUpon learning that Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin was bplanning a trip to Canada, we saw in this an excellent chance bto get Miss Zalmanson’s name known. I knew that we could beasily slip into Canada but that the police guard would be so bheavy, we would never get close to the Russian, and that, in bany event, a mere demonstration would not get the publicity bfor Miss Zalmanson that was our object. Because of that, we bdeliberately let the press know that I intended to fly to bCanada to try to disrupt the visit. I knew that the Canadians bwould not let me in and from past experience, that would be ba bigger story than anything I might do if I did get in.

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 296
Chapter 8: Wherever There Is Jewish Pain