Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Jdl: Old Goals, New Tactics; Non-violent Actions Against Cultural Exchange Programs

January 21, 1971
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Jewish Defense League is adopting new tactics to achieve old goals. Rabbi Meir Kahane, JDL national chairman, announced today at a press conference that JDL will conduct “non-violent actions” against organizations engaged in cultural exchange programs with the Soviet Union. He also announced there had been “unofficial contacts” between his group and “some Jewish establishment organizations” and said JDL welcomed such contacts. In announcing his organization’s new tactics, one day after he called for an “indefinite moratorium” on harassment of Soviet officials and their families, Rabbi Kahane revealed that 20 JDL members had conducted a half-hour sit-in at the offices of Columbia Artists, Inc. in Manhattan, leaving only after they were assured a meeting would be set up with the company’s president in the near future. “We will pressure every organization in the city, and in the country, doing business with the Soviet Union, beginning with those specializing in cultural exchange programs until they agree to cancel their contracts with the Soviet Union,” he declared. “If they tell us they have contracts which must be honored this year, but promise there will be no future contracts, that will be okay.” Rabbi Kahane continued, “Though we have agreed to a short term moratorium on harassing the Soviets, we must not stop putting pressure on the Russians. The issue is still the same. The plight of the Jews in the Soviet Union has not changed.”

Recommended from JTA