WOODBURNE, N.Y. (Jul. 1)
Rabbi Meir Kahane, national chairman of the Jewish Defense League, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that “The JDL will not be turning in any illegal weapons because we have none.” Kahane, who pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Federal District Court Friday to a conspiracy charge involving the manufacture of explosives, was referring to a stipulation by the Government that the JDL turn over to Federal authorities any illegal weapons and fire arms in its possession and submit to an inspection of its camp site here. Those were part of the conditions laid down by Government attorneys when they agreed to accept guilty pleas by Kahane and two other JDL co-defendants on the explosives charge while dropping charges against Kahane and 12 others of conspiracy to transport fire arms across state lines. Kahane. 38. and his co-dependents Chaim Bisber 41, and Stewart Cohen, 16, originally pleaded not guilty to the explosives charge before Federal Judge Jack B. Weinstein. After changing their plea, Kahane’s lawyer, Barry Slotnick, said the agreement had the approval of the U.S. Attorney General’s office in Washington.
Interviewed by the JTA at Camp Jedel here. Kahane said the JDL had “quite few guns” at the camp but that all were “registered and legal.” He said that the manufacture of explosives at the camp got him into trouble because of ignorance of the law. He said he didn’t know that the JDL needed a $250 Federal stamp in order to explode a bomb on its own property . And that his purpose in making and accreting a bombs was to show campers now radical groups prepared their own bombs. Kahane said that he planned a similar demonstration for the press next week and that this time he would “invest $250 in a stamp.” He said his guide in the bomb-making seminar would be instructions published in a Black Panther newspaper. Kahane faces sentence later this month on the explosives charge. He told the JTA that if he is jailed he did not expect the JDL to collapse. “We have thousands of young members who won’t be stopped by this.” he asserted, adding that he expected to continue to play a leadership role in the JDL even from jail.
(Kahane defended his philosophy that violence in a righteous cause was justified on a television talk show broadcast Friday night. He was a guest on the 90-minute David Frost Show (Ch. 5) along with two prominent critics of JDL tactics, playwright Dore Schary, honorary chairman of the B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation League and Prof. Hans Morgenthau, a political scientist on the faculty of the University of Chicago and CUNY. On the show, taped June 28, Kahane denied that JDL members ever engaged in bombing or spitting. He said, “I think it’s very easy for people who have lived in this country and have freedom to sit back and say, ‘Well, it’s not nice to do certain things to Russian diplomats.’ That’s quite right, it isn’t nice. A war is never nice. This is in effect a war between the Soviet Union and Jews. Soviet diplomats’ lives should be made as bearable or unbearable as Soviet Jews’ lives are…I am in favor of any violence if it is necessary” even though “violence is ugly.”
Schary responded that Kahane’s reasoning was “very strange to me” since “we really are not engaged in a physical war–we’re engaged in a psychological war, a social war.” He said he agreed with Kahane on only one thing, “that Soviet anti-Semitism is a reality.” He challenged Kahane’s allegations that established Jewish organizations did nothing for Soviet Jewry until the advent of the JDL. Morgenthau said he was “simply amazed at the naivete…of thinking that by insulting Russian diplomats on the streets of New York you are going to away the government of the Soviet Union.” He continued, “While it is very easy to incite young Jews in New York to the kinds of misdeeds which we have witnessed. it is very easy to forget that three million Jews are hostages to the government of the Soviet Union. And the government of the Soviet Union can do with these Jews whatever it wants. This I think, is a danger which is completely overlooked in those self-satisfying, narcissistic activities which we are discussing here and which require absolutely no heroism.”)