NEW YORK (Feb. 4)
The American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry today sharply condemned “misguided zealots” who have disrupted concerts of Soviet artists and defaced property while ostensibly acting on behalf of the rights of Soviet Jews. The Conference is a representative body of 26 national Jewish organizations and community councils actively seeking full religious and cultural rights for Soviet Jewry. A spokesman for the group said its denunciation was directed primarily at the Jewish Defense League and several independent student groups which have created disturbances at concerts given by visiting Soviet artists in New York and Washington, D.C. The JDL has demanded an end to U.S-Soviet cultural exchanges and has threatened to disrupt all Soviet performances in this country. The Conference said that it has always encouraged militant action on behalf of Soviet Jews but it believes that such action must be responsible. “Acts of vandalism and rowdyism serve no constructive purpose and in fact have harmful and self-defeating results,” the statement said.