Six Jdl Members, Including Kahane, Go on Trial for Violating D.c. Law

Rabbi Meir Kahane and five other members of the Jewish Defense League of the New York City area went on trial today in Superior Court of the District of Columbia for congregating on June 25 within 500 feet of the Soviet Embassy, in violation of a district law. The other defendants are Michael LeBovich, 18, a student at Yeshiva Torah V’Oz, Brooklyn; Zvi Sternberg, 20, a student at Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn; Kenneth J. Gorelick of Flushing. N.Y.; and Gene Kleinhedler, 18, a student at New York University. A similar charge against Joseph Rosen of New York was dropped because the arresting officer is no longer a member of the Washington police force. The case is being tried before Chief Judge Harold Greene of the District’s Superior Court. The defendants are represented by Nathan Lewin and Martin Sterenbuck of Washington. Lewin pointed out that the statute under which the defendants are being prosecuted was enacted in 1938 after protests were staged in front of the German Embassy, when Germany was under the Nazi regime. All the defendants are presently free on personal bond. Commenting on the charge, Rabbi Kahane told JTA, “We are charged with putting the Soviet government into public odium. We cannot put them in public odium since they are already in public odium by their treatment of Jews.”

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