Rabbi Dov Fisch, executive director of Herut USA, has confirmed that he had obtained a restraining order from a rabbinical group which forced eight members of the Jewish Defense League to end their takeover of the Herut office in Manhattan.
Fisch said the JDL members entered the Herut office on July 14, ordered the Herut employes to leave and announced a takeover. A JDL spokesman said the JDL had taken over the office to bring about the release from jail of Israel Fuchs, 19, a member of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s Kach Party in Israel. Kahane was a founder of the JDL in the U.S.
Fisch told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Fuchs, who had been arrested four months ago on charges of having fired a gun at an Arab car near Hebron, was sentenced on July 12 to 39 months in prison. Fisch said he had not been in the Herut office when the takeover occurred. Called to the Herut office, Fisch said, he told the JDL members that he would not call the police but that he would also not negotiate with the JDL during the takeover.
MOVES TO OBTAIN A RESTRAINING ORDER
Instead, Fisch called the Rabbinical Council of America, largest of the Orthodox rabbinical groups, but was informed that its Beth Din (rabbinical court) could not act quickly to give Rabbi Fisch a “Ktav Ikul,” a restraining order which he wanted to serve on the JDL members holding his office.
Fisch, who also serves as rabbi for a small Havurah on weekends, said he then reached the Rabbinical Alliance, another Orthodox agency, and spoke to Rabbi Herschel Kurzrock, who is director of the agency’s Beth Din and rabbi of the Young Israel of Kensington.
After some discussion, Kurzrock arranged for a temporary restraining order, to be in effect pending a hearing of the Beth Din, set for July 17. Fisch then went to his office and handed the document to Fem Rosenblatt, the JDL ‘s new national director, one of the JDL members holding the Herut office, who was a leader of the takeover group.
Fisch, a former member of the JDL, said he was upset that the JDL members “did not even have the courtesy to ascertain that I was unsympathetic” to the sentencing of Fuchs, simply taking over his Herut office. “They immediately decided to intimidate me and talk to me under the gun.”
After Ms. Rosenblatt led the other JDL members out of the Herut office, ending the occupation, she returned alone to talk to Fisch who agreed to send a telegram to Israel’s Attorney General, Yitzhak Zamir describing the takeover of the Herut office and asking Zamir to look into the Fuchs case.
On July 17, Fisch and several JDL members met at the Young Israel of Kensington, where the Beth Din had been scheduled but, on being informed by telephone by Kurzrock that the Beth Din would not meet, Fisch and the JDL leaders reached an informal agreement to let matters stand, pending the convening of the Rabbinical Alliance Beth Din.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.