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Jewish Terrorist Groups in the United States

The few organized Jewish terrorist groups outside Israel operate mainly in the United States. They were most active during the 1970s and 1980s and were responsible for numerous bombings directed at Soviet personnel and institutions and individuals doing business with the Soviet government.

The Jewish Defense League

The Jewish Defense League (JDL) was founded in 1968 by Meir Kahane, an orthodox Brooklyn rabbi. The group's original function was to protect elderly Brooklyn residents from street attacks. Kahane, however, was outspoken, even strident, and the JDL soon was known for its confrontational style.

Focusing mainly on the treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union, who were often jailed and refused exist visas, the JDL decided that violence was necessary to draw attention to the plight of Soviet Jewry. The goal was to strain U.S.-Soviet relations; the reasoning was that Moscow would need to respond to the ...

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