“J Street’s Forerunner”

May 1, 2009

On March 10, 1973, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir packed a Brandeis University auditorium with almost a thousand people, some spoiling for a fight. The previous week, multiple brawls had broken out in cafeterias: New Lefties versus Jewish Defense Leaguers. Now, outside the auditorium, the ranks swelled to over 500, hawks and peaceniks competing chant for chant.

But for all the fervor and fist-fighting, Meir’s speech singled out one group in particular: a troupe of liberal, anti-settlement Hillel members known as Breira. These lads, the prime minister said, were “not nice boys.”

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