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Boston Community Council Objects to Defense League Plans for Jews in Suburbs

Strong objections to plans of the Jewish Defense League to operate in deteriorating areas of Boston for protection of Jewish residents were voiced by the Jewish Community Council which called a news conference to warn that groups like the JDL “serve neither the Jewish community nor the general community” and that “they invite violence and inevitable counter-violence.”

The council reacted to a meeting of 75 elderly Jewish residents of suburban Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, with Rabbi Meir Kahane, director of the JDL, to discuss the mounting street crimes which the Jews believe are directly mainly against them. The residents had invited Rabbi Kahane to meet with them to discuss the problem. Rabbi Mordecai Savitsky said that robberies and beatings had become so frequent in some of the now largely-slum. areas that elderly Jews were afraid to leave their homes and attend synagogue services on Friday evenings. Victims have described their assailants as 12 to 17-year-old youths. Rabbi Kahane told the meeting that “if the Government and police”can’t provide necessary safety, “then it is up to Jewish organizations to provide it.”

The Jewish Community Council said, in a statement, that “we reject and are confident that practically the entire Jewish community rejects the false thesis that the issue before us is endemic and unique and that it is isolated anti-Semitism in Dorchester and Mattapan.” The Council said that Boston police have promised to start “a total enforcement” program with uniformed and plainclothes patrolmen. Robert Segal, Council executive director, said that Mayor Kevin White planned to make a detailed statement soon on the city’s plans to deal with the problem. The Council also said that “the tactics and philosophy of George Wallace will not eliminate the conditions breeding violence. Rather our hope lies not in spreading rumors, grabbing guns and creating panic, but in the determination of an enlightened citizenry, operating within the framework of order and responsibility and motivated by compassion and understanding.”

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