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December 04, 1987 - Image 50

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-12-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

PROFILE

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THE DAVID OPPENHEIM FAMILY
TEACHERS' INSTITUTE

Cordially invites you to attend
a lecture by

DR. DAVID ELKIND

entitled

A SYMPATHETIC UNDERSTANDING
OF THE CHILD

DATE: Sunday, December 6, 1987

PLACE: Jewish Community Center
6600 West Maple
West Bloomfield, Michigan

TIME:

1

1:00 P.M. Luncheon and Registration
1:45 P.M. Presentation of 1987
Teacher Research Grants
and Lecture by Dr. Elkind

For further information call the United Hebrew Schools at 354-1050

The Jewish Teachers of Metropolitan Detroit are grateful to Dr.
Patricia Oppenheim Levin and the David Oppenheim Family for
establishing a special teachers institute for the enhancement of Jewish
education.

Jewish Defense League
Seeks Moderate Image

LIONEL ROLFE

L

os Angeles — Is the
national chairman of
the Jewish Defense
League getting mellow in his
middle age?
Iry Rubin asserts that JDL,
now based in Los Angeles,
will cease disrupting
speeches in synagogues by lef-
tists and even outright Arab
PLO supporters.
"We had no right to disrupt
these events, and we have
caused ourselves more grief
as an organization by doing
that than anything else," he
said in a recent interview.
"If rabbis want to invite
PLO speakers and New
Jewish Agenda speakers, that
should not be our business,
even if they won't let us
speak," he continued.
Rubin explained that he
doesn't want JDL dismissed
as a bunch of hooligans, even
if toughness is not necessari-
ly bad. "We have been called
the 'Jewish Black Panthers',"
he noted. "Well, there's a
basic thing in the animal
world — one panther will not
mess with another panther."
Still, JDL under his leader-
ship is undergoing some
changes.
"I'm picking my issues
more carefully. I want to stay
with American issues, and
get away from the Middle
East. We want to be the Guar-
dian Angels of the Jewish
people," he said. "Listen, I
would be a hypocrite telling
Israel what to do with its
Arabs. Sure I advocate a cer-
tain policy, but it's not worth
a bucket of warm worm spit if
I'm not in the State of Israel."
Rubin may have mellowed,
but he still looks like a golem.
He's well over six feet tall,
with a rugged, strong face
that looks a bit like an un-
finished sculpture. Rubin
gives the sense of living on
the edge of a perennial rage,
and combined with his size,
there's something in-
timidating about him.
But he's now four decades
old, and there is a certain
mellowness to him that you
didn't see just a few years ago.
He does not deny that
perhaps some of his passion
has ebbed. And he has
become more sensitive to the
fact that he still doesn't get
much respect from the Jewish
hierarchy.
None of this is meant to im-
ply that he no longer cares
about the fate of Jews. For ex-
ample, by most accounts, the
recent news conference at

which Los Angeles Mayor
Tom Bradley came out strong-
ly against Black Muslim
leader Louis Farrakhan can
be explained in part by
Rubin, who insisted on get-
ting an answer from the
mayor about Farrakhan.

Of course, he's not very
diplomatic. Establishment
Jewish organizations might
think that most of what he
does is counterproductive at
best, but he has a following.
He insists that he does not
believe in breaking the law,
although he is willing to go to
jail for civil disobedience. It's
just that he says he is not a.
proponent of violence, even if
there's always the suggestion
of it around him.
For example, last year the
FBI at first blamed Rubin
and the JDL in the bombing
murder of Arab-American

The JDL was never
meant to be a
permanent
organization.
That's what's
wrong with Jewish
organizations.
They never die.

and Palestinian activist Alex
Odeh in Santa Ana, Calif.
Rubin said to charge him
with the crime, or face a
lawsuit. Although he had
made rather ugly and certain
tasteless comments about the
murder, the FBI never ar-
rested him.
The City of Los Angeles
recently demanded the right
not to have to defend itself
from Rubin's suit against it
on the grounds of national
security. Cities, obviously,
don't usually invoke national
security in lawsuits. Rubin
sued the city because he said
its police department sent an
agent into the JDL to en-
courage the group to perform
outrageous acts of violence.
The city claimed it can't
open its files on JDL because
it would harm national
security. The American Civil
Liberties Union took on
Rubin's case.
The city's position was
recently denied by a higher
court, and Rubin, who has not
always been a big fan of the
ACLU for its defense of the
free speech rights of the Klan,
neo-Nazis and other anti-
Semitic groups, admits that
he now sees the need for the
organization.
Rubin's wife Shelley says

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