Rabbi Meir Kahane, controversial leader of the militant Jewish Defence League (JDL) on Friday (23 July) received a five-year suspended jail sentence for conspiracy to manufacture explosives -- then immediately announced a new campaign to arm Jews.
MS Crowd outside New York courtroom.
CU Sign of Justice PAN DOWN TO crowd.
MS Sign of Justice on courthouse.
MS Rabbi chaired by crowd.
Reporter: "Are you going to see that your people don't collect guns and explosives and use them?
Kahane: First of all, we have no guns or explosives that are not legal. We have guns that are legal and what we are trying to do is call upon every Jew to have a gun, a legal gun. Every Jew, every Jew of twenty-two.
Reporter: Pabbi, isn't this a violation of the spirit of the Judge's ruling, if not the letter? You are preaching, right now you are preaching that every Jew should have a gun.
Kahane: Right. Every Jew should have a legal gun. What I was asked was what I personally should have nothing to do with guns. I will personally have nothing to do with guns, I wont' pick up a gun. If I could surely....so long as guns in this country are legal, then Jews as well as anyone else can have guns."
Reporter: As the leader of JDL, would you say that JDL now renounces violence as an instrument of policy?
Kahane: Absolutely not. We have always said and we say now and we always will say, violence is bad, violence is a reprehensible thing. And sometimes when there is no other way, it's necessary. That's our policy and it will always be our policy.
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Background: Rabbi Meir Kahane, controversial leader of the militant Jewish Defence League (JDL) on Friday (23 July) received a five-year suspended jail sentence for conspiracy to manufacture explosives -- then immediately announced a new campaign to arm Jews.
Kahane, 39, was fined 5,000 dollars (2,000 sterling) and placed on five years probation in addition to receiving the suspended sentence. A Federal Court judge warned him that any breach of the peace could mean he would have to serve his sentence in jail. But on leaving the Court, Rabbi Kahane told newsmen "I had not asked for mercy. I can't compromise principle with expediency. I am delighted I did not go to jail but there are times when violence is necessary."
The Rabbi, who gained notoriety by leading harassment campaigns against Soviet diplomatic officials in protest against the Soviet Union's treatment of Jews, then announced he was launching a drive to buy rifles for Jews. His motto for the campaign, he said, was "Every Jew a .22." (A .22 is a type.of rifle).
He was greeted by a crows of about 200 followers when he left the Court. They chanted "Never Again" -- the Jewish Defence League motto that means no more massacres of Jews.