NEW YORK (Aug. 28)
A group of 11 members of the Jewish Defense League locked themselves up at 8 a.m. today in the lobby between the front and inner doors of the building at 515 Park Avenue which houses many Jewish organizations, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Blocking all means of entrance or exit to and from the building, they demanded that the entire group be allowed to see Rabbi Israel Miller, Conference president. Told that he was in Rumania, they demanded to see Yehuda Hellman, executive director of the Presidents Conference.
Hellman, declining to meet the entire group, agreed to see a small delegation representing them. The JDL members, pasting signs on the window of the building saying that Israel should not give up “a single inch of territory.” urged the Presidents Conference to support this view. As of early afternoon there was still no meeting between the JDL and Hellman. A JDL spokesman vowed to continue their action “even if it lasts all weekend.”
In a statement, Hellman said: “Neither the Presidents Conference, nor any of its 32-member organizations, make the policy for the sovereign State of Israel. Whether Israel should or should not accept the proposed accord between Israel and Egypt, now being suggested by U.S. Secretary of State (Henry A.) Kissinger, is a decision that must be made for the people of Israel by its duly constituted government. At this moment, when the governments involved are negotiating a delicate interim agreement, it would not be helpful for the cause of Middle East peace for me to make any further comment.”
Meanwhile, the various offices in the building were reported as functioning normally during the day.