Soviet Mission Demands Prosecution of Jdl Members for Demonstration

The Soviet Mission to the United Nations has demanded, in a letter to the United States Mission, the prosecution of 10 members of the Jewish Defense League who picketed the Soviet Mission from a balcony of the Park East Synagogue on Feb. 11. The synagogue is located across the street from the mission building in Manhattan.

In the letter, released Friday, the Soviet Mission asked for federal prosecution of the JDL members under the U.S. law for the protection of foreign officials and official guests of the United States. That law bars picketing and demonstrations within 100 feet of the premises of a foreign mission.

The Soviet letter, which included a note to Secretary General Kurt Waldheim on the matter, and which was circulated as a document of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country, declared that the JDL demonstrators “shouted threats, obscenities, abuses and insults at the staff of the Mission” from the synagogue balcony The letter also charged that the members of “the notorious Zionist group” also “displayed hostile slogans” in placards which “contained threats of physical violence” against representatives of the Soviet Union.

At the time of the incident, Rabbi Arthur Schneier of the Park East Synagogue deplored “the invasion and takeover of our synagogue” and condemned the irresponsible tactics of the self appointed defenders of Soviet Jewry.” The JDL’ers were protesting the oppression of Soviet Jews.

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