A leader of the Jewish community here denounced the Jewish Defense League today for stirring up “the fears of our people” that Nazis would eventually win their court battle to march through this heavily Jewish populated suburb of Chicago. Sol Goldstein, a board member of the Jewish United Fund (JUF) of Metropolitan Chicago, was referring to a statement to that effect by Rabbi Meir Kahane at a JDL rally staged here yesterday.
The rally was held despite the fact that a threatened July 4 Nazi march was called off in compliance with a court injunction obtained by the Village of Skokie in support of its ordinances barring the march. Kahane, founder of the militant organization, exhorted a crowd estimated at 400 to “kill Nazis now” and “every Jew a .22.” Frank Collin, leader of the so-called National Socialist Party of America, told the Chicago Daily News this afternoon that the JDL rally “sets a marvelous precedent that the Skokie ordinances are invalid” and that “the Jews played directly into our hands.”
The aim of the Jewish community was to reduce tension and for that reason the JUF’s Public Affairs Committee cancelled what was to have been a “patriotic American rally” at the Meyer Kaplan Jewish Community Center yesterday. “We had cancelled a rally of local Jewish residents of Skokie purposely because such a rally could only serve to enlarge the fears of our people even though the Nazi march had been averted,” Goldstein said.
“To have the Jews of the JDL stir up these same fears and apprehensions for their own purposes is unforgivable. By their actions and by their allegations that the Nazis will win in court the right to march in Skokie, the JDL has come close to accomplishing what the Nazis themselves set out to do,” he said.
JDL RALLY HELD LEGAL
The JDL held its rally on the parking lot of the JCC after being refused permission to use the building. About 40 JDLers who came to Skokie from other cities were disarmed by police of clubs, baseball bats and metal pipes they were carrying, apparently in anticipation of a confrontation with the Nazis. But Skokie Village President Albert J. Smith said their rally was legal because it was held on private property. He said the Nazis could hold a similar rally if they could obtain the use of private property.
Although the Nazi march was cancelled, several anti-Nazi groups assembled outside the village hall yesterday where the march was to have begun. Police helicopters cruised overhead and uniformed and plainclothes police were out in force to prevent violence. In Chicago a group calling it self the “Run The Nazis Out-Of-Town Coalition” demonstrated and handed out leaflets in front of Nazi headquarters. In Skokie, JDLers marched wearing motorcycle helmets. They hawked JDL badges for $1 and tried to recruit local Jewish residents to join the JDL.
Meanwhile, representatives of national and local Christian organizations issued a Fourth of July call to religious leaders to condemn the Nazi Party as contrary to Judaeo-Christian traditions and the ideals of American democracy. Sister Ann Gillen, executive director of the National Interreligious Task Force on Soviet Jewry, convened the meeting of Christian leaders in Chicago yesterday. She said they were pledged to “persistent action” against the Nazis in Chicago and elsewhere.
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.