The Italian-American Civil Rights League, founded several months ago by Joseph Colombo to combat what he termed “the persecution of the Italian people” has been working closely with the Jewish Defense League since Dec., it was learned here today. According to Anthony Colombo, vice-president of the Italian-American organization, the League is “against any form of discrimination and persecution, and this essentially is what JDL is all about.” Colombo confirmed the rumor that his group and JDL were working together on a number of projects and added, “We are 100 percent in favor of the work the JDL is doing. They are fighting for the civil rights of Jewish people in the Soviet Union and United States as we are fighting for the civil rights of our people in the U.S. We will stand with the JDL in all their demonstrations.” Colombo disclosed that members of his group had participated in the recent Washington Rally for Soviet Jewry co-sponsored by JDL, and the 100-Hour Vigil for Soviet Jewry which was held in late December during the infamous “Leningrad 11” trials.
He added that Italians had also joined JDL’ers and black youths in Hightstown, New Jersey, to protest a recent series of cross burnings there by the Ku Klux Klan. Members of the JDL, he noted, had participated in the Italian League’s ongoing demonstration in front of FBI headquarters. Acknowledging that the JDL is not favorably viewed by the “Jewish Establishment,” Colombo conceded that “our organization has also been condemned.” A JDL spokesman also confirmed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that his group was working with the Italian-American Civil Rights League, and noted that although some persons had expressed their disfavor at the association, the JDL would do “what’s good for Jews, even if it hurts our image.” (Joseph Colombo, president of the League, faces a Federal hearing on April 21st on charges of conducting a gambling business. He has also just been convicted in the Manhattan State Court on a perjury charge and was recently arrested for allegedly receiving stolen goods from a robbery of the Long Island Jewelry Exchange in Mineola.)
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.