Jewish Defense League
Why didn’t the JDL condemn the 1985 murder of Alex Odeh, director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee? Did JDL have anything to do with the bombing that killed him?
It is true that JDL National Chairman Irv Rubin publicly stated that Odeh “got what he deserved” in the bombing of the ADC offices in Santa Ana, California. He also said, “I’m not crying over the death of Alex Odeh. My tear ducts are dry. My tears were used up crying for Leon Klinghoffer.” Rubin made these passionate statements after observing Odeh on television less than 24 hours before his death on the local ABC news whitewashing the PLO’s involvement in the death of the wheelchair-bound Klinghoffer on the hijacked cruise ship Achille Lauro. Odeh praised the PLO and called Arafat a man of peace. (Ironically, Italian authorities recently gave the convicted murderer of Klinghoffer a weekend furlough, which he went on and never returned. Isn’t it interesting how Arab terrorism is rewarded all over the world?) JDL believes — and there is no information to the contrary — that Odeh was murdered by his own people, probably Hamas. According to the FBI, the device used to blow up Odeh was extremely sophisticated. No JDL member has ever been questioned concerning this matter and we consider it closed. The only reason JDL was brought into the picture is because Arab Americans were putting pressure on the government to blame us for it.
Former U.S. Senator James Abourezk said the FBI foiled a JDL murder plot against him. What’s the story?
A greater piece of fiction has not been created — even by the Disney Company — than that JDL was part of a plot to kill the Arab-American ex-senator. We think this was fabricated by him to manipulate the media against Jews in this country and to stop the Arab community here to be painted as supportive of terrorism, which it is; just take a look at all the TV news reports today about who’s financing Hamas and other terrorist organizations.
Is JDL a racist organization in regard to Arabs and African Americans?
On Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, there exists a small Middle Eastern cafe called Eat-A-Pita. Its owner, a Palestinian named Sam, came to us for aid over a decade ago. He was being attacked by elements allegedly associated with the so-called Israeli Mafia. They had been the prior tenants who leased the property from the ’60s actress Julie (“Cat Woman”) Newmar. The thugs were outraged at the prospect of a Palestinian taking over the property they were evicted from by Newmar’s attorneys. Their fury culminated in an arson attack that wiped out 25% of the restaurant. Sam called me and told me he was being extorted and feared for his life. Irv Rubin immediately called out the JDL Chaya Squad (tough Jewish boys) to patrol the area, and he contacted the offending individuals and communicated a lesson they will never forget, which basically is, “Sam the Palestinian has just as much right to live and function in this community as you do. This is America and we will not tolerate any intimidation of any person on account of race or religion.” It has always been a JDL priority to encourage as many Arabs as possible to leave Israel to make new homes in America or wherever they wish to live. “Sam has never had a problem since then and thanks me profusely whenever I stop in to say hi,” says Rubin. As far as blacks are concerned, Irv Rubin and two other JDL members traveled to Forsythe County, Georgia, to march alongside 25,000 blacks against the KKK, who were terrorizing the African Americans who lived there. Says Rubin, “I have great respect for many black conservatives, including L.A. talk show host Larry Elder and presidential candidate Alan Keyes. In the 80s, I went to Compton, Calif., to come to the aid of a couple (Jewish man, black woman) who were being terrorized by their neighbors who didn’t like the idea of an interracial couple. Even though we are against intermarriage, I felt that the couple should determine their own destiny, free from intimidation and anti-Semitism. As far as anti-Semitic blacks are concerned (e.g. Farrakhan, Abdul Mohammad, etc.), we will fight Jew-haters whoever, whatever and wherever they are.”
What good things does JDL do that nobody ever hears about?
Lots of what we do never gets reported. Nobody likes good news, do they? Walking elderly Jews to synagogue, collecting food for poor Jews, settling neighborhood problems, convincing Orthodox Jewish men to give their ex-wives Jewish divorces, and so on and so on — no one ever hears about these JDL activities. That’s OK; we do them anyway. We feel having our website on the ‘Net has helped to get our viewpoint heard. We have been contacted by Jews in Europe and South Africa who have expressed support and interest in starting chapters. This is very exciting for us.
Jewish Defense League, P.O. Box 480370, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.
Telephone: (818) 980-8535
JDL of Northern California:
P.O. Box 242, Brookdale, CA 95007, USA.
Telephone: (408) 338-0409
P.O. Box 13861, Albany, NY 12212, USA.
Telephone: (518) 464-5020
JDL of New England:
P.O. Box 51, Revere, MA 02151, USA
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