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Jdl Takes over Kennedy’s Suite of Offices; Demand He Act on Behalf of Soviet Jews

August 6, 1971
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A dozen members of the Jewish Defense League staged a sit-in this afternoon in the reception area of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s suite of offices on Capitol Hill demanding that he act on behalf of Jews in the Soviet Union as he has for blacks in South Africa. The group, both men and women of college age, entered the Senator’s suite in the Old Senate Office Building about 2:30 p.m. Cameramen and newsmen followed shortly thereafter. Richard Drayne, press assistant to the Democratic Senator from Massachusetts, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Kennedy was on the Senate floor in anticipation of “important votes coming up” but he is aware of the demonstration. Drayne said he presumed the sit-in would continue until the Senator returned to his office. Kennedy, who has frequently spoken out in favor of aiding Soviet Jews, had introduced legislation in the Senate three weeks ago to deny a U.S. sugar quota to South Africa because of its policy of apartheid, Drayne noted. The measure was defeated 47-45. “In effect, these people (JDL) are saying,” Drayne continued, “if you are going to do that to South Africa why not do the same thing to the Soviet Union. Leaflets passed out by the JDL listed ten demands, Drayne added. These included severance of American diplomatic and cultural ties with the USSR, a world-wide boycott of business firms trading with the Soviet Union, an embargo on U.S. trade with that country and a ban on its participation in the Olympic Games.

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