In their own words
Irv Rubin — Chairman of the Jewish Defense League
- After the attack on the Jewish community center in Los Angeles:
“Those kids at that community center were sitting ducks. We have to realize as Jews that this is going to happen again and again until we learn to defend ourselves, and the only way to defend yourself is to fire back.”
The Sacramento Bee, August 14, 1999
On training camps in the Catskills:
“We teach young people to have a sane fist attached to a sane head, not to advocate this nebbish posture people seem to think is so popular.”
“A lot of energy, and ideology classes will create an authentic Jew. A Jew who will know how to act when all Jews are in trouble.”
The Times Herald-Record, June, 28, 1998
On Jewish extremists in the United States:
“Violence in self-defense is absolutely justifiable.”
Los Angeles Times, November 9, 1995
From the JDL web site
- “JDL upholds the principle of Barzel — iron — the need to both move to help Jews everywhere and to change the Jewish image through sacrifice and all necessary means — even strength, force and violence. The Galut image of the Jew as a weakling, as one who is easily stepped upon and who does not fight back is an image that must be changed. Not only does that image cause immediate harm to Jews but it is a self-perpetuating thing. Because a Jew runs away or because a Jew allows himself to be stepped upon, he guarantees that another Jew in the future will be attacked because of the image that he has perpetuated. JDL wants to create a physically strong, fearless and courageous Jew who fights back. We are changing an image, an image born of 2,000 years in the Galut, an image that must be buried because it has buried us. We train ourselves for the defense of Jewish lives and Jewish rights. We learn how to fight physically, for it is better to know how and not have to, than have to and not know how.”
“We feel that [Baruch] Goldstein took a preventative measure against yet another Arab attack on Jews. We understand his motivation, his grief and his actions. And we are not ashamed to say that Goldstein was a charter member of the Jewish Defense League.”
Chronology: The Jewish Defense League 1969-1995
The President of the United Nations Security Council revealed that six UN Missions of the Arab states received telegrams from the Jewish Defense League threatening each as a “legitimate target” in revenge for acts of terrorism committed by Arabs.
May 18, 1970:
Fifty JDL members took over the Park East Synagogue opposite the Soviet UN Mission. Positioning themselves in the sanctuary, on the roof and on scaffolding surrounding the building, they unfurled huge banners decrying the plight of Soviet Jews. Those on the roof shouted demands and played martial music through a loudspeaker directed at the Mission across the street. Responding to the pleas of the synagogue’s rabbi to leave, Kahane told him that as far as he was concerned, there was “nothing to talk about.” The takeover continued for nine hours, due to the hesitancy of the synagogue’s officials to aggravate the situation by asking the police to intervene.”
May 22, 1970:
Six unidentified members of the JDL stormed into the offices of two Arab propaganda agencies in New York. Three Arab men were severely beaten with wooden clubs, and the offices were left in disarray. The three victims were hospitalized. Responding to reports that JDL literature was found at the scene of the attacks, Kahane did not take credit for the assaults but stated that “If we did [take credit], we’d be open to all sorts of problems. We obviously can’t.” He then proceeded to express his approval of the attacks.
September 27, 1970:
Two members of the JDL, Avraham and Nancy Hershkovitz, were arrested in an alleged plot to hijack an Arab airliner. The two were arrested at Kennedy Airport carrying firearms and explosives. They were later indicted on six counts by a grand jury but pleaded guilty only to a charge of passport falsification.
A group of JDL members led by Kahane took over the executive offices of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies in New York. They occupied the offices for two hours, demanding $6 million for “Jewish education”
November 16, 1970:
Continuing their efforts against the Federation, the group subsequently launched a telephone harassment campaign against then Federation President George C. Heyman. A newspaper advertisement called for sit-in demonstrations at Heyman’s office and advised, “[I]f you cannot stop by, phone him several times that day.”
November 24, 1970:
In the second takeover of the Park East Synagogue that year, the JDL again commandeered the premises of the synagogue for an anti-Soviet demonstration. After the police erected barricades to prevent demonstrators from approaching the Soviet Mission, a car suddenly veered onto the sidewalk into a line of uniformed policemen. Six patrolmen and one officer were injured.
November 25, 1970:
At 3:20 a.m., a bomb exploded at the Manhattan offices of the Soviet airline Aeroflot and its travel agency Intourist causing extensive damage. Thirty-five minutes after the explosion of the bomb, an anonymous caller telephoned the Associated Press and declared that the bomb was in response to Soviet anti-Semitism and pronounced the JDL slogan, “Never again!” At a subsequent press conference, Kahane voiced approval of the bombing but denied responsibility for it, stating, “Any protest to help enslaved people is a legitimate form of protest – including bombing and other forms of violent action.”
January 8, 1971:
A bomb exploded in the pre-dawn hours of the morning outside a Soviet cultural building in Washington DC causing moderate damage. Shortly after the explosion, a woman telephoned news agencies and warned: “This is a sample of things to come. Let our people go. Never again! ” Bertram Zweibon, the vice-chairman of the JDL denied the group’s involvement, but declared, “We do not condemn the act.
February 29, 1972:
JDL members wielding sticks fought with left-wing protesters who disrupted a lecture given by Kahane at the City College of New York.
March 2, 1972:
A member of the Jewish Defense League who purchased a rifle allegedly fired into the Soviet UN Mission in October of 1971 was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of possessing a false draft card and falsely identifying himself when buying a firearm. On March 18, 1975, he pleaded guilty.
March 16, 1972:
A JDL member poured blood over the head of a Soviet diplomat after crashing a Washington, DC reception.
March 22, 1972:
A band of 12 JDL members disrupted a luncheon meeting of the Long Island Association World Trade Club during a speech being given by an official of the Russian Embassy. Detectives forcibly removed them from the room.’
April 8, 1972:
A warrant for the arrest of a JDL follower was issued in Manhattan Criminal Court when he failed to pay a $200 fine imposed after he pleaded guilty to criminal mischief for invading and vandalizing the offices of the Soviet news agency Tass in 1969.
May 9, 1972:
At a sit-in at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, JDL members scuffled with Austrian officials.
May 24, 1972:
In an apparent effort to disrupt U.S. – Soviet relations, four people, two of which were reported to be members of the JDL, were arrested and charged with bomb possession and burglary in a conspiracy to blow up the Long Island residence of the Soviet Mission to the UN. President Nixon was on an official visit to Moscow at the time. The arrests were announced by Acting Attorney General Richard Kliendienst. On August 4 1972, the two JDL members pleaded guilty and were sentenced to serve 3 years in prison for one and a year and a day for the other.
September 14, 1972:
Members of the JDL were arrested in Los Angeles twelve hours after the bombing of an apartment building which included among its tenants a Palestinian Arab. No one was injured. In June of 1973, two members of the organization were convicted on charges of assault.
September 27, 1972:
Three members of the JDL pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court to charges related to bombing incidents in 1971 at the Amtorg Trading Corporation offices and at the Long Island estate of the Russian Mission.
January 12, 1973:
A group of anti-Soviet demonstrators, identified by police as JDL members, invaded the Park East Synagogue opposite the Soviet UN Mission on East 67th Street, and shouted slogans at the Mission. The synagogue’s rabbi called the group “irresponsible.”
February 6, 1973:
An FBI agent revealed that members of the JDL had planned to use a “drone airplane” in 1971 to bomb the Soviet Mission to the UN in New York.
February 22, 1973:
Ten members of the JDL took over and vandalized the offices of the World Council of Churches in New York.
February 28, 1973:
Eight members of the JDL took over the offices of the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia.
March 1, 1973:
The executive secretary of the New York office of the World Council of Churches stated that the Council would seek payment from the JDL for damages caused on February 22 by ten JDL members who invaded the Council’s offices and vandalized the premises.
May 22, 1973:
A Queens, New York high school teacher was sentenced to 90 days in prison for using false documents to hide the identities of individuals who purchased rifles for use in a JDL camp in 1970. A co-defendant, also a JDL member, was convicted on similar charges, and was sentenced to 5 months in prison on July 15.
June 30, 1973:
Rabbi Kahane revealed that he had instructed followers to kidnap a Soviet diplomat in the U.S. to forestall a U.S.-Soviet summit meeting.
July 17, 1973:
Rabbi Kahane stated in Israel that he had written to JDL members in the U.S. suggesting they blow up the vacant Iraqi Embassy in Washington.
August 23, 1974:
Four JDL leaders were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct while attempting to disrupt a performance of the Bolshoi Ballet at the Temple University Music Festival. Earlier, officials of the festival had received a letter from a JDL official stating that unless the proceeds from the program were donated to organizations helping Soviet Jewry, the JDL would try to prevent the program from taking place by “whatever means are necessary.” The Pennsylvania leader of the JDL was later convicted of disorderly conduct, while charges against the other three JDL members were dismisse
November 13, 1974:
A JDL leader was arrested by agents of the FBI after he publicly threatened to assassinate the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasir Arafat. Other JDL officials repeated the threat. He was convicted on June 13, 1975.
January 21, 1975:
Rabbi Kahane and 47 other demonstrators were arrested in a clash with police outside the Soviet UN Mission in which six persons, including two policemen, were injured. Two of the demonstrators were held on felonious assault charges but the rest, including Kahane, were released after being given summonses for disorderly conduct.
January 24, 1975:
A JDL official admitted that the group had taken and hidden the printing presses of a Philadelphia Arabic newspaper.
January 30, 1975:
Two JDL members were arrested on suspicion of arson following the firebombing of an automobile belonging to the brother of an accused Nazi war criminal. The two were identified as members of the JDL by the group’s West Coast director, who expressed sympathy with the firebombing. On November 27 1975, a JDL member pleaded guilty to the firebombing.
February 8, 1975:
Rabbi Kahane was accused of having conspired to kidnap a Soviet diplomat, to bomb the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, and to ship arms abroad from Israel, when he was there in 1972. As a result, a federal judge scheduled a hearing on revocation of Kahane’s 5-year probation, dating from a July, 1971 conviction for making a firebomb.The judge subsequently found Kahane guilty of violating his probation, and imposed a one-year prison term, which Kahane began serving on March 18 of that year.
February 24, 1975:
Kahane announced that the JDL planned to recruit a 150,000 member volunteer army to fight for Israel, emphasizing that such volunteers “should be prepared to kill Arabs if necessary. . .” Kahane conceded that such an “army” had no approval from the Israeli government, which he criticized as “appeasement oriented.”
March 5, 1975:
Twelve young people affiliated with the JDL off-shoot called the Committee Against Israeli Retreat (CAIR) invaded the B’nai B’rith offices in Washington, taking control of the switchboard and seizing the office of another B’nai B’rith staff member. The group demanded that B’nai B’rith and other Jewish organizations mobilize against U.S. policy in the Middle East and against the potential return of any occupied territory by the Israeli government. The group used a bullhorn to convey its message through open windows in the building. They also sent telegrams to Jewish organizations in several cities falsely claiming that B’nai B’rith was organizing protests against “the Ford-Kissinger policy of step-by-step strangulation of Israel.” Police were called but no arrests were made.
March 19, 1975:
A JDL member pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to possession of a false draft card, which was used to purchase a rifle that was fired into the Soviet UN Mission in October, 1971.
March 19, 1975:
Kahane began a one-year federal prison term for violation of a previously imposed 5-year probation sentence relating to an arms smuggling conviction.
April 15, 1975:
Responsibility for the smashing of two windows of a Chemical Bank branch in Coram, Long Island was claimed by an unidentified man who called Newsday using the JDL slogan, “Never Again.” Contacted by Newsday, a JDL official denied responsibility for the vandalism, but stated, “We applaud the act of militant Jews and support all such activities.”
April 18, 1975
The FBI and local police, armed with search warrants, searched JDL headquarters in Los Angeles and the homes of several JDL members in connection with an investigation of a series of explosions in the Los Angeles area. A JDL spokesman denied JDL involvement in the bombings although he said the group applauded them.
April 25, 1975:
Six JDL members, expressing dissatisfaction with the responsiveness to community needs of the San Francisco Jewish Welfare Federation, forced their way into the office of the executive vice president of the Federation, ransacked files and assaulted four staff members, including one who, according to a Federation spokesman, had been crippled as a result of having spent time in a concentration camp during World War II.
June 19, 1975:
Kahane announced that a Jewish “counter-terrorist group” had been formed to combat “the sworn enemies of the Jewish people with hard-core violence.” While disclaiming knowledge of the size of the group, its membership or where it would strike, Kahane said the JDL would serve the new group “as a conduit in relaying their views and plans to whoever they would ask us to; to serve as an ideological and philosophical guide for them, and to aid them in whatever way we can.
August 29, 1975:
Eleven JDL members locked themselves in the lobby of 515 Park Avenue, which houses many Jewish organizations, and blocked all means of entrance to or exit from the building, demanding to see an official of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. They also demanded that the Presidents Conference support the JDL view that Israel should not give up “a single inch of territory” in negotiations with Arab states
<!– December 12, 1975:
A JDL spokesman announced a campaign of following and harassing UN diplomats who represented the 72 nations which voted in the UN to equate Zionism with racism. Incidents involving diplomats or their family members from the Soviet Union, Poland that B’nai B’rith was organizing protests against “the Ford-Kissinger policy of step-by-step strangulation of Israel. ” Police were called but no arrests were made. March 19, 1975:
A JDL member pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to possession of a false draft card, which was used to purchase a rifle that was fired into the Soviet UN Mission in October, 1971. March 19, 1975:
Kahane began a one-year federal prison term for violation of a previously imposed 5-year probation sentence relating to an arms smuggling conviction. April 15, 1975:
Responsibility for the smashing of two windows of a Chemical Bank branch in Coram, Long Island was claimed by an unidentified man who called Newsday using the JDL slogan, “Never Again.” Contacted by Newsday, a JDL official denied responsibility for the vandalism, but stated, “We applaud the act of militant Jews and support all such activities. April 18, 1975:
The FBI and local police, armed with search warrants, searched JDL headquarters in Los Angeles and the homes of several JDL members in connection with an investigation of a series of explosions in the Los Angeles area. A JDL spokesman denied JDL involvement in the bombings although he said the group applauded them. April 25, 1975:
Six JDL members, expressing dissatisfaction with the responsiveness to community needs of the San Francisco Jewish Welfare Federation, forced their way into the office of the executive vice president of the Federation, ransacked files and assaulted four staff members, including one who, according to a Federation spokesman, had been crippled as a result of having spent time in a concentration camp during World War II. June 19, 1975:
Kahane announced that a Jewish “counter-terrorist group” had been formed to combat “the sworn enemies of the Jewish people with hard-core violence.” While disclaiming knowledge of the size of the group, its membership or where it would strike, Kahane said the JDL would serve the new group “as a conduit in relaying their views and plans to whoever they would ask us to; to serve as an ideological and philosophical guide for them, and to aid them in whatever way we can.” August 29, 1975:
Eleven JDL members locked themselves in the lobby of 515 Park Avenue, which houses many Jewish organizations, and blocked all means of entrance to or exit from the building, demanding to see an official of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. They also demanded that the Presidents Conference support the JDL view that Israel should not give up “a single inch of territory” in negotiations with Arab states. –>
December 12, 1975:
A JDL spokesman announced a campaign of following and harassing UN diplomats who represented the 72 nations which voted in the UN to equate Zionism with racism. Incidents involving diplomats or their family members from the Soviet Union, Poland and India were reported. The JDL spokesman said of the campaign, “We are prepared to stay within certain civil laws and not physically attacked anyone. But if we are provoked we will slug it out. Quite frankly, we are hoping for that. We want to create a major incident. ”
January 6, 1976:
Three JDL members were charged by police with invading and vandalizing the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia, allegedly to protest Mexico’s vote for the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism. However, a local judge dismissed the charges. The judge was quoted as saying that he dropped the charges not because of the merits of the case, but because of improper Mexican treatment of American prisoners. Federal charges against the three remain in effect. On January 13, a federal grand jury in Philadelphia indicted the three JDL members on charges involving obstructing foreign officials and their duties, damaging property of a foreign government, and conspiracy. The three JDL members later pleaded guilty to the federal charges and were sentenced to two years probation.”
January 13, 1976:
Three pipe bombs were discovered and disarmed by New York City police near the United Nations, and a fourth bomb found at the Iraqi UN Mission was later similarly disarmed. Anonymous telephone callers told the Associated Press that the bombs had been set by the Jewish Armed Resistance Strike Unit, which has been associated with the JDL. The UN bombs were found by a Transit Authority employee in a subway emergency exit shaft under an exit ramp from the FDR drive next to the UN. A UN spokesman said that fragments from the bomb could have killed or wounded anyone within 50 feet. A JDL spokesman said his organization applauded the attempted bombing.’
January 17, 1976:
A pipe bomb exploded in front of the Polish Consulate on Madison Avenue near East 37th Street in Manhattan. After the explosion, a man called two wire services and the New York Post and claimed he represented “the voice of Jewish Armed Resistance. ”
March 2, 1976:
The JDL issued a statement applauding the firing of several bullets into an apartment building in the Soviet UN Mission residence in the Riverdale section of New York, but denied any connection with the Jewish Armed Resistance, the group that claimed responsibility for the shootings.
March 9, 1976:
The Jewish Armed Resistance Strike Movement claimed responsibility for an explosion that destroyed part of the Fifth Avenue building housing the Soviet and Czechoslovak airlines. Condemning this bombing, Stanley Lowell, chairman of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, observed that “had the bomb injured or killed an innocent individual, the cause of Soviet Jewry would have been irreparably harmed.” Lowell added, “those who continue these tactics and their supporters accomplish nothing. Terrorist acts can only hurt the cause of Soviet Jews. . .”
March 26, 1976:
The Jewish Armed Resistance claimed responsibility for a time bomb that was discovered at the Amtorg Trading Corporation, the Soviet trade agency, on Lexington Avenue in New York.
On March 28 1976, in an article titled “Anti-Soviet Violence Here Upsets Jews in Moscow” The New York Times reported that Soviet Jewish refuseniks had publicly criticized the JDL’s actions: “A number of Jewish activists refused permission to emigrate… feel that lanti-Soviet] harassment in New York hurts their cause and may give Soviet authorities an excuse to become even more intransigent.” The article also quoted several Jews awaiting exit visas in Moscow as expressing opposition to violent attacks upon Soviet personnel in New York, and concluded: “Another Jewish activist feared that such actions could make authorities more unwilling to relax emigration policies for fear of losing face.”
Several days later, on April 6 1976, nine Moscow Jewish activists condemned as a “terrorist act” the shots fired at the Soviet Mission to the UN. In a statement released by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, the nine activists stated: “Such actions constitute a danger for Soviet Jews… as they might be used by the authorities as a pretext for new repressions and for instigating anti-Semitic hostilities.” The signers included Vladimir Slepak, Alexander Lerner, Anatoly Shcharansky, and losif Begun. A similar statement was also made by the Soviet Jewish scientist and “refusenik” Benjamin Levich.
April 12, 1976:
Seven JDL members mounted the roof of the Park East Synagogue across the street from the Soviet UN Mission and shouted insults at occupants of the Mission The rabbi of the synagogue described this activity as “harmful and irresponsible,” and indicated that he would press charges of trespassing.’ 95 A day after the demonstration. Kahane praised those who had been attacking Soviet diplomats and offices as “Jewish patriots.”
May 3, 1976:
Five pipe bombs shattered windows and caused minor damage to two banks, a Russian book store, a subway exit near the UN and the national headquarters of the Communist Party. A caller to the Daily News stated that the bombs had been planted by the Jewish Armed Resistance Strike Unit, and supplied the location of a letter relating to the bombings, which was later found there by police.
Responding to the spate of violence against Soviet diplomatic personnel and property, six Orthodox rabbis and deans of Yeshivot (Jewish religious seminaries) issued a statement denouncing violence and terror by Jews against Russian officials and property in the United States as a transgression of Jewish law. The statement was released on May 14, 1976 by the Agudat Israel of America in the name of the Council of Torah Sages.
June 23, 1976:
Two vehicles were firebombed near the Pan Am cargo terminal at Kennedy Airport. An anonymous call told the New York Post that the Jewish Armed Resistance was responsible.’
August 19, 1976:
Four members of the JDL were charged with conspiring to direct violent attacks against foreign governments in the United States, including the Soviet and Iraqi Missions at the United Nations. In addition to conspiracy, the defendants were charged with interstate transportation of explosives and firearms, and with violating statutes that provide protection to foreign officials and their property.
The indictment referred to the following incidents: An attempted pipe bombing of the Iraqi Mission to the. United Nations on January 12, 1976; a shooting into the Soviet Mission to the UN on April 2, 1976; a pipe bombing of a New Jersey service station on August 17, 1975; and the shooting into the Soviet residential complex in Riverdale, NY on April 2, 1976. The four JDL members entered guilty pleas to the federal charges. (A fifth defendant who was a juvenile at the time of his arrest and whose arrest was not reported at the time also pleaded guilty.)
November 19, 1976:
Five JDL members staged a 5-hour sit-in at the office of U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut. The JDL objected to statements and positions on Israel by Ribicoff, who was described by Kahane earlier as a “far greater danger to Israel than any Arab army. ”
November 24, 1976:
Kahane led a group of JDL members in a sit-in at the HIAS office to protest what they claimed was a decision by HIAS to stop providing aid to Soviet Jewish “dropouts.” They carried signs and distributed leaflets urging HIAS not to “cave in to Israeli pressure” on the issue.
November 26, 1976:
The head of the Washington, DC area JDL was convicted of conspiring to shoot out the windows in the apartments of two Soviet Embassy officials.
December 16, 1976:
A JDL member was sentenced to three years in federal prison in New York following his guilty plea to charges of transporting a rifle across state lines. He had previously received a one-year suspended sentence following his 1975 conviction for threatening the life of PLO leader Yasir Arafat in 1974. Following that suspended sentence he had been placed on probation for four years.
December 16, 1976:
Two JDL members were sentenced to up to six years in federal prison following their guilty pleas to the federal indictment announced by the Justice Department on August 12. A third individual involved in that indictment had been sentenced earlier to a similar term. The fourth of those indicted was the individual sentenced to three years, as noted above. A fifth individual associated with that indictment was released on probation.
December 20, 1976:
The JDL announced that it had “declared war” against the Unification Church leader, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and “vowed that no Moon missionaries would walk the streets safely.”
February 1, 1977:
Twelve JDL members disrupted a meeting sponsored by Breira, a Jewish group advocating Israeli recognition of the PLO, held at a Manhattan synagogue. As a result of this action, the meeting was canceled. A JDL spokesman warned: “Breira must be crushed once and for all, and those who aid and abet it will get lost in the crush as well.”
February 14, 1977:
The former director of the Washington, D.C.-area JDL was sentenced to two years in federal prison, fined $12,000 and put on supervised probation for three years. He had been convicted of conspiracy relating to a plan to fire a rifle into a Maryland apartment rented by Soviet diplomats.
March 18, 1977:
Following a two-day siege against B’nai B’rith headquarters in Washington by a group of Hanafi Moslem terrorists, Kahane denounced the Hanafis as “Nazis” and sent a telegram to Hanafi headquarters demanding an apology for the terrorist action. In response, a statement by the Hanafis threatened “all Zionist Jews and their allies” with “bloodbaths.”
June 8, 1977:
A telephone caller identifying himself as a member of the Jewish Armed Resistance claimed responsibility for the arson at a Boro Park bank as a political protest. Damage to the building was light. A JDL spokesman denied that the Jewish Armed Resistance was linked to the JDL, but applauded the action.
August 15, 1977:
The JDL claimed responsibility for the firebombing in Brooklyn of a vehicle used by the proselytizing organization Jews For Jesus.
February 17, 1978:
In a pre-recorded telephone message, the JDL offered $500 for every Nazi “lawfully killed during an attack on a Jew.” Calls to the New York headquarters of the JDL activated the telephone message which also stated “We are calling for Jews to unite in an all-out war against Nazis and other Jew-haters.” The message added “We are also advocating mass executions of Nazis in order to make their stay in this country an unhealthy one.”
April 21, 1978:
A taped telephone message played to callers to the JDL office in Miami Beach urged Jews to own guns, with the words, “Every Jew, a .22.”
June 1, 1978:
The JDL announced a campaign intended to force a Jewish attorney to end his legal representation of an accused Nazi war criminal living in New Jersey. Speaking of the attorney, a JDL official stated, “From here on there will always be the presence of the JDL in his area and wherever he goes, to make him resign…” The lawyer charged that his life had been threatened.
June 22, 1978:
A Canadian member of the JDL pleaded guilty to setting a bomb that exploded at the home of a Canadian neo-Nazi activist.
July 11, 1978:
Kahane and several associates broke into a Russian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem and sprayed black paint on the walls to protest the Soviet trial of Anatoly Shcharansly.
August 18, 1978:
An anonymous caller to the Associated Press claimed JDL responsibility for a fire at the Democratic Party’s Southern California headquarters in Los Angeles. A JDL spokesman later refused to comment on any JDL role in the fire, but expressed sympathy with the perpetrators. The arson was assertedly to protest Carter Administration pressure on Israel.”
August 30, 1978:
A JDL member convicted of bombing a Los Angeles theater during a showing of Vanessa Redgrave’s pro-PLO film, “The Palestinians,” was sentenced to a three month “thorough psychological examination” with the California Youth Authority.
September 26, 1978:
A federal appeals court upheld the firearms conviction of a Washington, D.C.-area JDL official, but overturned his conviction on a conspiracy charge, due to an erroneous jury instruction from the trial judge.
November 20, 1978:
A group calling itself the “New Jewish Defense League” took responsibility for the attempted bombing of the home of an Egyptian UN diplomat in Queens. The device did not go off.
December 7, 1978:
A JDL member convicted earlier of a June bombing at a Los Angeles area theater showing a pro-PLO Vanessa Redgrave film, was sentenced to up to four years in the California Youth Authority. His sentence was credited with the nearly six months he had already spent in custody.
December 22, 1978:
Three JDL members were evicted from the West German Consulate offices in Miami after they occupied the office form more than an hour, in protest against Germany’s announcement that it would cease prosecuting alleged Nazi war criminals after the next year. Those convicted were arrested and charged with trespassing, battery and false imprisonment.
December 29, 1978:
A JDL official pleaded no contest to causing a disturbance outside a local courtroom where an alleged Nazi war criminal was being tried. The JDL official was sentenced to sixty days probation.
Updated JDL Document: “Needed: An American Jewish Underground” — this JDL document, circulated in 1979, advocated the formation of an armed Jewish American “underground” to “quietly and professionally eliminate those modern day Hitlers who are becoming an ever increasing threat to our existence.
- “…I state emphatically, the JDL is not an ‘underground.’ It is an ‘above-ground’ organization, an activist, ideological movement which operates in full view of the public and police. Militant and sometimes violent? Yes, in the defense of Jews.
“But a void, a gap needs to be filled within the complex make-up of the American Jewish community today. As 1 stated above, what is needed is a secret, underground strike-force which will eliminate those individuals that threaten our very existence. The time is long overdue for the birth of such a group.”
June 25, 1979:
JDL members swinging baseball bats disrupted meetings of neo-Nazi groups in two suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. There were no arrests.
September 5, 1979:
Two JDL members disrupted the first night performance of the Bolshoi Ballet in a Los Angeles auditorium. The disrupters were ejected by security guards.
September 20, 1979:
A California Appeals Court ruled that a JDL official could be prosecuted on charges of soliciting the murder of American neo-Nazis. The Court overturned a lower court ruling that the JDL official’s public comments had been protected by the First Amendment. The official had waived five $100 bills in the air at a Los Angeles news conference and offered them to anyone who “kills, maims or seriously injures a member of the American Nazi Party.”
November 5, 1979:
“The Jewish Defense League is urging American Jews to purchase firearms and know how to use them as part of the forty first observance of Kristallnacht, or ‘Night of Broken Glass,’ in which pogrom-like rioting was directed against the Jewish communities of Germany on November 9th and 10th, 1938.
“Saying that ‘America closely resembles the Germany of the 1920s,’ and that ‘overt and physical Jew-hatred covers nearly the entire spectrum of American society today,’ JDL national director Brett Becker announced the JDL would begin the ‘Every Jew, A .22’ campaign on the anniversary of Kristallnacht. ”
November 19, 1979:
A “smoke bomb” went off inside Carnegie Hall during a performance by a Soviet orchestra. A caller identifying herself as a JDL member claimed JDL responsibility for setting the device.
January 27, 1980:
An anonymous caller claimed responsibility in the name of the JDL after a bomb exploded outside the San Francisco office of Bank Melli of Iran.
February 6, 1980:
Eight JDL members allegedly assaulted American Nazi leader Harold Covington outside NBC studios in New York. The neo-Nazis were protesting the broadcast of NBC’s docu-drama “Holocaust.”
June 9, 1980:
A JDL official in California, predicting a new Holocaust, urged Jews to arm themselves. The JDL was offering monthly weapons-training sessions in the area.”
June 26, 1980:
Five JDL members took over the New York offices of Hebrew University and American Friends of Hebrew University
The “JDL Update” contained the following items:
- JDL members disrupted speeches at Temple Sinai in Washington, D. C. given by Arab mayors recently expelled from Israel. (June 4).
- Seven JDL members were arrested after invading the New York office of the Soviet line, Aeroflot (June 19).
- JDL members in Los Angeles staged a weapons training class following KKK leader Tom Metzger’s Congressional primary win (June 22).
- Thirty JDL members in Miami demonstrated in protest against Kahane’s detention in Israel (June 24).
July 18, 1980:
Four JDL members took over the offices of United Zionist Revisionists of America (Herut).
August 29, 1980:
Four JDL members took over the Israel Aliyah office in Queens, New York.
November 17, 1980:
Twenty JDL members staged a 3-day sit-in at the Israeli Consulate and Mission to the UN in New York.
January 25, 1981:
A bomb exploded in the early hours of the morning outside the Bank Melli Iran building in San Francisco. Windows were shattered on both sides of the street, but there were no injuries. A man who identified himself as a representative of the JDL telephoned United Press international and claimed responsibility, stating that the group’s act of violence was taken to protest the “brutal persecution of Iranian Jewry ” and demanded the release of “50,000 Jews held hostage” that he described as being held in Iran. Earl Krugel, director of the JDL in California, denied responsibility for the explosion but was reported as condoning the action.
January 30, 1981:
Twenty members of the JDL took over the offices of the American Civil Liberties Union in New York as a protest against the ACLU’s legal defense of a neo-Nazi group in Buffalo. Over a period of four hours, the JDL commandeered the ACLU reception area and disrupted the work of its staff by chanting “Don’t defend Nazis!” and “Six Million – Never Again!” No injuries or serious damage was reported.
February 2, 1981:
Three members of the Jewish Defense League were issued summonses for harassment after they verbally abused diplomats at the Soviet Mission to the UN. One of the three, Howard Perel, stated that he had “shouted and cursed” at the diplomats as they were leaving the mission and had shouted slogans referring to Anatoly Shcharansky.
February 6, 1981:
Eight members of the JDL wielding steel pipes attacked National Socialist Party of America leader Harold Covington on as he approached the NBC studios in New York. Covington and an aide were attired in full Nazi stormtrooper uniforms on their way to a taping of the “Tomorrow” show. Later in the evening, Covington appeared on the program heavily bandaged and declared that all Jews should be gassed.”
April 6, 1981:
Two members of the JDL were arrested in Torrance, California at a demonstration outside the offices of the Institute for Historical Review, a Holocaust revisionist organization. Willis Car-to, the director of the Institute, was assaulted by one JDL member after he began to write down car license plate numbers. Another member of the group was arrested after he was seen placing a loaded semi-automatic pistol in the trunk of a car.
May 31, 1981:
Two JDL members were arrested for throwing rocks, bottles and eggs at the offices of the Soviet airline Aeroflot in New York. The two, Avigdor Eskin and Alex Khaves, were charged with starting a riot, reckless endangerment, and criminal mischief. Both had recently emigrated to the U.S. from the Soviet Union.
June 1, 1981:
Two JDL members were arrested after allegedly vandalizing the Aeroflot office in Manhattan.
August 30, 1981:
Four gasoline firebombs were hurled at the home of an accused Nazi war criminal, Boleslavs Maikovskis, in Mineola, Long Island at 2:30 a.m. There were no injuries, but slight damage to the house was reported. Within minutes of the firebombing attack, a representative of the JDL telephoned the New York Post and took responsibility for the attack.
September 1, 1981:
At his deportation hearing, alleged Nazi criminal Boreslavs Maikovskis was punched and knocked down by a member of the JDL who shouted, “You Nazi bastard! ” The JDL member was later identified as Mark [Mordechai] Levy, who was removed from the courtroom and charged with five misdemeanors.
September 2, 1981:
Two JDL members were issued summonses after they allegedly harassed Soviet diplomatic personnel on a New York bus.
September 3-4 1981:
Six unexploded bombs were discovered near the Soviet Mission to the United Nations on September 3. On September 4, a small bomb exploded under an unoccupied car with diplomatic license plates parked near the Soviet Mission. No one claimed responsibility for these incidents.
September 6, 1981:
A small bomb exploded at the Four Continent Bookstore at 1:40 a.m., causing damage to the display window of the store. The Four Continent Bookstore, which sold literature published in the Soviet Union, was targeted by what a caller identified as the “Thunder of Zion” which claimed to be a “militant faction” of the JDL. The caller stated, “Within the next two weeks they [Soviet Jews, including refuseniks Anatoly Shcharansky and Maria Tlemkin] had better be released or Russian blood will flow on New York streets. There will be blood up to your knees, including [Soviet foreign minister Andrei] Gromyko’s.” Arno Weinstein, the national director of the JDL, in an interview with the New York Post, said, “We do not take responsibility for this, but we applaud it. I am very happy that Jews are finally taking some action.”
September 9, 1981:
Fifteen members of the JDL take over the offices of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in New York, forcing the organization’s employees to leave their offices and barricading the doors behind them with desks and office furniture. The JDL members occupied the office for two hours and demanded that HIAS send messages to Ethiopia calling for the emigration of Jews from that country. At the offices of the World Zionist Organization (WZO), another group from the JDL chained and padlocked the front doors of the organization’s offices. The WZO offices continued to function normally in spite of the JDL’s attempts at disruption.
October 25, 1981:
Two firebombs severely damaged the Egyptian Government Tourist Office at Rockefeller Center in New York at 4:18 a.m. There were no injuries. An anonymous caller to the New York Daily News claimed responsibility for the bombing at 4:35 a.m., stating, “This is the JDL. We have just firebombed the Egyptian government offices. We demand that the Camp David Accords be buried with Anwar Sadat, in solidarity with those against the retreat from the Israeli-liberated lands – the Sinai. Shalom. Never again!” A spokesman for the JDL later denied responsibility for the bombing, but “if this bombing was done to expose the fallacy of the Camp David Accords, we support the act. ” Kahane himself was quoted by the New York Post as saying, “it could have been members of the JDL and it could have been anyone. “249 At a press conference on October 26, Kahane stated, “I would not be particularly anxious to be an Egyptian in New York City.” He continued, “I’m not going to say that the JDL bombed that office. There are laws against that in this country. But I’m not going to say I mourn for it either.” In response to a question regarding the possibility of other such attacks, Kahane replied, “1 would not be surprised. It might very well be.”
One day later, an anonymous caller claimed responsibility for the JDL after the October 25 fire-bombing at the Egyptian Government Tourist Office in New York. A JDL spokesman later denied his group’s involvement, adding “We support the act.”
November 15, 1981:
Twelve bullets were shot into the sitting room in the home of the Soviet Union’s ambassador to the United Nations in Glen Cove, Long Island. There were no injuries. An unidentified caller telephoned United Press International and claimed responsibility in the name of the JDL. Meir Kahane, in an interview with the New York Daily News while on a speaking tour of the U.S. stated, “We have no exact knowledge of who fired into the home, but we have no doubt it is the work of Jewish activists.” Describing the shooting as an “unlawful act,” he went on to praise it by saying, “We applaud it.” At a press conference 15 hours after the shooting, Kahane “proudly announce[d]” and “heartily applauded” the act, predicting an “escalation” of attacks against Soviet representatives in the future. “Jews don’t walk freely in the streets of Moscow,” he said, warning, “Russians won’t walk freely here.”
December 25, 1981:
Two houses are spray-painted with Stars of David and slogans during the night, apparently in retaliation for earlier acts of vandalism carried out by two sixteen year-olds against two synagogues in East Meadow and Mineola, Long Island. Nine Stars of David were painted on the house of Donald Ostrandez, and one on a car parked in front of house. Atthe house of Joseph McCloskey, all the tires on the two cars parked in the driveway had their tires slashed. Stars of David and the slogan “Never Again!” were painted on the house. A caller to several news organizations claimed responsibility for the act in the name of the JDL
January 29, 1982:
Forty JDL members seized the offices of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC).
February 19, 1982:
For the third time in as many months, JDL vandals spray-painted the homes of individuals recently convicted of anti-Semitic vandalism. After denying involvement a JDL official then admitted to his group’s “revenge” action.
February 21, 1982:
Following the explosion of two bombs outside the Washington, D.C. office of Aeroflot, an anonymous caller claimed responsibility for the JDL. He added that there would be further actions would continue.
April 2, 1982:
Kahane and about thirty followers seized the offices of the Herut Party in New York as a protest against Israeli withdrawal from Sinai.
April 9, 1982:
Kahane and twenty-five followers took over the main floor of the Israeli Consulate in New York.
July 6, 1982:
An anonymous caller claimed responsibility for the JDL after pipe-bombs were set off outside both the French and Lebanese Consulates in New York. Later, a JDL official denied the claim but added that the JDL did “applaud those actions.”
December 20, 1982:
Thirteen JDL demonstrators chanted obscenities and disrupted services at a church where accused Nazi war criminal Valerian Trifa was to appear.
January 26, 1983:
Five JDL members, on a “deprogramming mission,” abducted a 22-year-old woman walking on a New York street. The woman had been active in the Jews for Jesus movement. One of her abductors was apprehended by police.”
March 3, 1983:
A JDL leader, surrounded by 25 heavily armed supporters, announced plans to create vigilante squads that would mete out “Jewish justice” to “Jew haters.” This action was criticized by New York police and by ADL associate national director Abraham Foxman, who noted: “The JDL has a history of violence and extremism and a knack for exacerbating tensions.”
November 10, 1983:
Following Jesse Jackson’s announced candidacy for President, a JDL spokesman vowed that his organization would disrupt Jackson rallies and meetings.
February 23, 1984:
An anonymous caller from the “Jewish Direct Action” took responsibility for the fire-bombing of a car in the Soviet compound. A spokesman for the group later denied the group’s responsibility. However, the group stated in a press release that it would “launch a ‘war’ that will wreck Soviet-American relations” and would stage “major acts of violence that will seriously endanger” Soviet diplomats.
February 28, 1984:
An anonymous caller claiming to be a JDL member took responsibility for spray-painting the homes of local sponsors of a Soviet film series. A JDL spokesman denied his group’s involvement, but did admit that the perpetrators may have been JDL members.
March 13, 1984:
An anonymous caller claimed responsibility for the JDL in the planting of a practice grenade in the Greenburgh, N.Y. town hall during the showing of a Soviet film. A JDL official denied responsibility, but then admitted that it was “possible the people who perpetrated this may be JDL members.”
October 11, 1985:
The West Coast headquarters of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is bombed, killing its Palestinian-American director, Alex Odeh and injuring 7 others. A JDL spokesman declared that Odeh “got exactly what he deserved.”
A bomb was placed under the car of Walter Berk, then the acting chairman of the JDL in New York, who was involved in a dispute with other members of the group over mailing lists and finances. In 1987 it was revealed that another JDL member, Jay Cohen, had planted the bomb. No injuries were reported.
Another bomb was placed under the car of JDL chairman Walter Berk by a rival member of the JDL. No injuries were reported.
April 28, 1986:
A member of the JDL placed a firebomb under a loading dock at a Pan Am building at Kennedy International Airport in protest of the airline’s flights to Russia.
September 2, 1986:
A tear gas grenade was thrown into the opening performance of the Soviet Moiseyev Dance Company at the Metropolitan Opera. Twenty people were sent to the hospital for treatment, including the Soviet Ambassador, Uri Dubinin. 4000 others were evacuated from the building. JDL members Jay Cohen, Sharon Katz and JDL leader Victor Vancier were arrested in 1987 for carrying out the incident. (See October 27 1987)
November 26, 1986:
Victor Vancier, [aka Chaim Ben Yosef] the “self-proclaimed leader” of the JDL in New York, was arrested outside the Penta Hotel with a tear gas grenade after a fire broke out in the tunnels under the hotel where the Soviet Moiseyev Dance Company, was staying. Vancier was charged with a federal weapons violation. (See October 27 1987)
February 9, 1987:
Two JDL members disrupted the performance of Soviet pianist Lazar Berman at Carnegie Hall in New York by chanting, “Free Soviet Jews, Communist Nazis.” Both were removed from the hall and charged with disorderly conduct.
April 1, 1987:
Murray Young, a “suspected JDL member,” was arrested for his involvement for two violent attacks that took place at the Metropolitan Opera and Avery Fisher Hall. Police confiscated “a cache of weapons and documents” from Young’s home. Included among the weapons were: a semi-automatic machine gun, handguns, rifles and two stun guns, as well as ammunition, tear gas canisters, explosive powder, stink bombs and “detailed records about bombings directed at organizations affiliated with the Soviet Union.” Young was charged with possession of a pistol silencer without a serial number, and later received a 5-year prison term. (See October 27 1987.)
May 8, 1987:
Jay Cohen, Sharon Katz and Victor Vancier, all JDL members, are arrested in connection with six incidents, including the 1984 firebombing a car at the Soviet diplomatic residence in Rive rdale, the 1985 and 1986 fire and pipe bombings of cars owned by a rival JDL member in Howard Beach, the 1986 firebombing at the stage door of Avery Fisher Hall before the performance of the Soviet State Symphony, and the detonation of a tear gas grenade at the Metropolitan Opera in September 1986. Authorities stated that with the arrests of the three, they had “solved all the significant JDL terrorist acts in the New York area. ” (See October 27 1987.)
May 20, 1987:
An arrest warrant for disorderly conduct was issued for Kahane in Overland Park, Kansas after he failed to appear at a hearing examining those charges in connection to a shoving match that Kahane had with two Arab men who attended a lecture he gave on November 18 1986. One of the men, Musa Shoucair, filed a civil suit against Kahane for $10,000 in damages for “assault, battery and outrageous conduct resulting in emotional stress” as the consequences of the incident.”
May 31, 1987:
Eight JDL members disrupt the Womens’ Olympic Volleyball match in Florida between the U.S. and Soviet teams by sitting in the middle of the volleyball court and chanting, “One, two three, four, open up the iron door, five, six, seven eight – let our people emigrate.” They were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.”
June 30, 1987:
The outer shell of a grenade wrapped in aluminum foil and connected to four batteries and a clock was found in a garbage can at Lincoln Center in New York hours before the Bolshoi Ballet was to perform. Minutes before the device was discovered, an unidentified caller telephone United Press International and said: “Bomb. Lincoln Square Plaza. Death to Soviet dancers,” and referred to JDL founder Meir Kahane.
October 27, 1987:
Victor Vancier, the former National Chairman of the JDL, was sentenced to ten years in prison for bombing attacks at the Soviet diplomatic residence in New York and at Soviet cultural performances. A JDL co-defendant in the case, Jay Cohen, committed suicide on September 6 in his hotel room in the Catskill Mountains. Two other JDL members who were sentenced in the same case were Murray Young, described as a “bomb maker,” who received a five-year term because he co-operated with prosecutors after his arrest. Young told the sentencing judge that he had engaged in violence because his grandfather had been beheaded in Russia. Sharon Katz was sentenced to six months house arrest and five years probation, and a $5000 fine for detonating a tear gas grenade. The three were sentenced for an incident in October of 1986 in which the opening night performance of the Soviet Union’s Moiseyev Dancers was tear gassed. Vancier had previously justified the JDL’s violence by saying that Jews must take extreme measures because “crazy Jews live longer.
January 23, 1988:
Irv Rubin, the JDL National Chairman in California, taunted Muslim anti-Israel protesters at the Federal Building in Westwood, California. Police officers at the scene intervened in order to prevent any violence.
February 15, 1988:
JDL National Director Irv Rubin denied responsibility for the bombing of the PLO’s “Ship of Return” in Limassol, Cyprus. The “Ship of Return” was a PLO propaganda project aimed at evoking sympathy for convicted Palestinian terrorists who were expelled from Israel for their violent activities. An anonymous caller telephoned the Associated Press in Nicosia, Cyprus and claimed that the JDL in the U.S. was “responsible for the bombing in Limassol. Next time we will bomb it-with all the people on it.” When asked about the bombing, Rubin stated, “I wholeheartedly applaud the bombing of the PLO-chartered ferry in Cyprus. It was a sacred, righteous act to defend the state of Israel. I am honored that our group was blamed. I would love to take credit for this action, but the credit belongs to people much more heroic than I and the JDL. ” On a radio program several days before the ship was sunk, Rubin stated that he thought that “someone should sink the boat,” and if people were aboard the ship while it was attacked, he “would not condemn the action. I am a Jew who understands what the PLO is about. Their total reason for being is to destroy the state of Israel.
Rochelle Manning, a member of JDL who was then living in Israel, was arrested as she alighted from a plane in Los Angeles for her involvement in the letter-bomb murder of Patricia Wilkerson, a secretary working for the business rival of one of her JDL associates in Manhattan Beach, California. The bombing was not connected to the political program of the JDL, but was apparently part of a business feud between JDL member William Howard Ross and Brenda Crouthamel, who had no ties to the JDL. Both Rochelle Manning’s and her husband, Robert Manning’s fingerprints were found together with the materials accompanying the bomb. Robert Manning was previously convicted in 1972 for “placing an incendiary device” outside the home of two Arabs in Los Angeles. (See March 8 1994)
September 8, 1988:
An anonymous caller to a new agency in France claimed responsibility in the name of the Jewish Defense Organization for vandalizing the offices of French right-wing extremist Jean Marie Le Pen. The vandals painted SS insignia, swastikas and the Star of David on the walls, broke furniture, and stole membership money from Le Pen’s National Front organization.
February 17, 1989:
Irv Rubin, National Chairman of the JDL in California, announced his group’s intentions to disrupt the convention of a Holocaust revisionist organization, the institute for Historical Review (IHR). “If we can find [their] location, we’ll bring at least 100 people,” Rubin said. Describing his group’s stance towards the IHR, Rubin declared, “You don’t picket Nazis, you don’t protest Nazis, you smash Nazis. ”
March 4, 1989:
JDL Chairman Irv Rubin stated that his group would hold a rally against a white supremacist rock concert called “Aryan Woodstock” in San Francisco. “We’re going to rally with our people. [We want] such a large number that the skinheads will show their true colors and scamper away like cockroaches,” Rubin said.
March 31, 1989:
Jewish Defense Organization leader Mordechai Levy threatened to “meet violence with violence” if a projected Ku Klux Klan rally was to take place in Millville, New Jersey. “I don’t like violence,” Levy said. But sometimes, violence must be used. If the Klan marches, it will be opposed with force.”
June 3, 1989:
The JDO’s Mordechai Levy and the JDL’s Irv Rubin nearly came to blows at a Los Angeles airport press conference that was called by Levy to denounce the attack by four neo-Nazi skinheads against a Middle Eastern couple whom they mistook for Jews from La Verne, California. Rubin and several of his followers accosted Levy as he arrived in Los Angeles. The two spat in each others’ faces and a Rubin follower tried to attack an innocent bystander whom he thought was a Levy sympathizer. The man, who happened to be Jewish, was holding a baby and chastised his attacker by saying, “I am a Jew, too, so let me through,” as he walked down the hall.
August 11, 1989:
The JDO’s Mordechai Levy opened fire from the roof of his apartment building in New York on his arch rival, Irv Rubin, who was trying to subpoena Levy with a slander suit. After a 2 and ½ hour standoff, Levy surrendered to police. As the result of the shooting, a retired busdriver, Dominic Spinelli, was struck with gunfire in his leg. Levy was charged with four counts of attempted murder, one count of first-degree assault, and one count .of criminal possession of a deadly weapon.
October 18, 1990:
40-60 JDL members pounded on the front door, trampled the lawn and left signs stating, “Deport Nazi Ensin!” and “No Mass Murderers in Mass.!” on the house of accused Nazi war criminal Albert Ensin in Stoughton, Massachusetts.
November 14, 1990:
Nine days after the murder of Meir Kahane, a note was mailed to a television reporter threatening vengeance for the murder of the Kach leader. Threatening that “things will go boom in the night,” the note reportedly contained a “hit list” which included prominent Jewish critics of Israel’s policies and American Arabs sympathetic to the PLO. The note reportedly listed Rita Hauser, Chairperson of the International Center for Peace in the Middle East and a New York attorney who met with Yasir Arafat in 1988; Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, a professor at Dartmouth known for his support of Israeli and Jewish peace groups, and New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis. Others reportedly included on the list were former Palestine National Council member Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, former Arab League Ambassador to the UN Clovis Maksoud, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and Muhammad T. Mehdi, head of the National Council on Islamic Affairs.
In May of 1991, at the hearing of Sayyid al-Nosair, Binyamin Kahane disrupted the proceedings by jumping to his feet and screaming “Revenge, revenge!” in Hebrew. Supporters of Kahane further disrupted the court proceedings by chanting “Never again, never again!” and jostled with court officers as they were removed from the courtroom.
December 22, 1991:
Responding to the acquittal of Sayyid al-Nosair for the murder of Meir Kahane, his son and leader of Kahane Chai, Binyamin Kahane, declared, “We vow that Sayyid Nosair will not see a day without fear until his very last day. ”
(Note: On October 1, 1995, Nosair was convicted of Kahane’s murder on seditious conspiracy charges.)
February 26, 1992:
A bomb exploded at 2:07 a.m. outside the Syrian Mission to the United Nations. Damage to the building included a shattered plate glass window near its entrance and a two foot hole in its entryway. There were no injuries. Several hours later, an identical bomb was found inside a cardboard box within a telephone booth on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A note found with the first bomb was destroyed by the blast, but the second note read, “Free Syrian Jews.” Later in the day, a man identifying himself as a member of Kahane Chai contacted the Associated Press and claimed responsibility for the bombing. Subsequently, the group made a statement denying responsibility for the bombing but did not condemn it. Binyamin Kahane, the director of Kahane Chai, made a written statement which declared:
- “We hope this incident will serve as a warning and a deterrent to Syria and to Syrian- acked terrorists that the long arm of Jewish vengeance can reach them too.”
January 5, 1994:
Between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m., a bomb was placed outside a New York building that houses Americans for Peace Now, Habonim, Israel Horizons, and the Progressive Zionist Caucus. The bomb did not explode but was later defused by police . A second bomb, placed outside the building which houses the New Israel Fund, exploded but there were no injuries. Notes left with the bombs declared that an Jewish “civil war has begun. ” The notes also spoke of the “spilling of blood in Israel” and criticized the Israeli Government as being “too liberal. ” The notes were signed by the “Shield of David” and the “Maccabee Squad.” A press release issued by Kahane Chai provided its traditional response subsequent to such incidents: the organization “denied responsibility” for the attacks, but “refused] to condemn the act.”
February 10, 1994:
JDL member Robert Manning was convicted of complicity in the 1980 letter-bombing death of a secretary in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole for 30 years. The letter-bomb incident had no connection to JDL activities but was instead an attack contracted by William Howard Ross, a fellow JDL member who had a long drawn out business dispute with the owner of the firm where the secretary worked.
March 8, 1994:
The Israeli High Court of Justice rejected a petition by Rochelle Manning, wife of Robert Manning and both JDL members, to block her extradition to the United States in order to face murder charges. Rochelle Manning is to be re-tried on murder charges relating to the 1980 letter-bomb attack on a California secretary. On March 19 1994, Rochelle Manning died of a heart attack in an Israeli prison while awaiting her extradition to the United States.
June 9, 1995:
Los Angeles, California – William Howard Ross, a member of the Jewish Defense League, was sentenced to life imprisonment for having enlisted Robert and Rochelle Manning to construct and mail a booby trap bomb to a local computer company with whom Ross had had a personal dispute. (See June 1988 and February 10, 1994 regarding the trial and sentencing of Robert Manning.)