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July 25, 1986 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-07-25

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

The HIGHEST
Money Market Rate
in the
Detroit Metropolitan Area
Among Major Financial Institutions
— for —

ferent. Last year when he came to
Brighton Beach he spoke to overflow
crowds. I won't lie and say the majority
in our community favors Kahane. The ma-
jority of Russian Jews in the U.S. are
politically apathetic. But there is a grow-
ing minority who support Kahane and the
Jewish Underground."

The Jewish Underground

Kahane has long dreamed of forging a
Jewish underground that would liquidate
his enemies. As early as 1974, he called for
the creation of a "world-wide, Jewish anti-
terror group" that would "spread fear and
shatter the souls" of Israel's Arabs, forc-
ing them to flee for their lives. In 1975, ac-
cording to Israeli police officials, Kahane
began to build an anti-Arab terrorist
underground, the TNT, which in the next
few years would stage dozens of bloody
raids against West Bank Arabs.
In 1979, Kahane called for the establish-
ment of a similar terrorist underground in
America that would 'quietly and profes-
sionally eliminate those modern day
Hitlers . . . that threaten our very ex-
istence." He proposed that a "militant and
sometimes violent" JDL should serve as
a spokesman for the "American Jewish
underground.
Indeed, the current pattern of violence
directed against Arab Americans and
alleged Nazi war criminals recalls the JDL
founder's vision. Last year, a string of
bombings that claimed two liveswas at-
tributed to the JDL by the FBI, which
says the primary suspects are American
Jews who were members of the JDL before
joining Kahane in Israel. "They became in-
volved in radical groups in Israel and now
are back in the U.S.," says Thomas L.
Sheer, an FBI official who heads the joint
FBI/NYPD task force on terrorism. Sheer
says that there is also some evidence in-
dicating the possible involvement of Rus-
sian Jews from Brighton Beach in the re-
cent violence. On February 28, FBI direc-
tor William Webster said before a House
subcommittee on civil and constitutional
rights that he considers "the potential for
further violence . . . by Jewish extremist
groups . . . to be quite high."
For their part, spokesmen for the JDL
and the JDO have publicly praised the
violence while denying complicity in the
attacks. Nonetheless, all of the targeted
groups and individuals had appeared on
the militant groups' published "hit lists"
and had been subject to violent harass-
ment campaigns. Furthermore, in private
conversations, JDL leaders say they take
pride in the professionalism of the bomb-
ings. "In the old days, we used to firebomb
a Soviet diplomat's car and hurry home to
phone our friends and brag about it," says
Vancier. "Then we would hold a press con-
ference to applaud the bombing. You're
certain to get caught when you do that. Of
course the FBI would know who to look

for. I think someone really learned their
lesson."
Just how well someone learned their
lesson became apparent last August 15.
At 4:29 that morning, Tscherim Soob-
zokov, a member of the Nazi Waffen SS,
was killed by a pipe bomb when he stepped
outside his Paterson, New Jersey, home
after being awakened and told his car was
on fire. Soobzokov's name had appeared
on both JDL and JDO hit lists. Moreover,
JDO boss Mordechai Levy had denounced
Soobzokov in a speech on August 7 in
front of 50 people at a Passaic, New
Jersey, synagogue. "Whoever did it, did
a righteous act," Levy said of the bomb-
ing. Rabbi Kahane, who was in New York
at the time, said, "I can only cheerfully ap-
plaud such action."
On September 6, 1985, Elmars Sprogis
of Brentwood, New York, a 69-year-old
former Latvian policeman who had been
cleared on charges that he helped Nazis
kill Jews during World War II, was only
slightly injured when a bomb attached to
his front door exploded. But the bomb
blew off the legs of a young rock and roll
drummer who tried to put out a fire on
Sprogis' porch, which apparently had been
set to draw him outside. A few hours after
the Sprogis bombing, Newsday received a
telephone call with what sounded like a
recorded message: "Listen carefully.
Jewish Defense League. Nazi War
Criminal. Bomb. Never again!" A week
before the bombing, Fern Rosenblatt, who
was then the national director of the JDL,
reportedly received a phone call from a
man speaking English with what sound-
ed like a heavy Russian accent, inform-
ing her that the underground was about
to strike and telling her to alert the media
after the action. A JDL spokesman later
called the Sprogis bombing "a brave and
noble act."
The most recent bombing death occurred
in Santa Ana, California, on October 11,
when Alex Odeh, the 41-year-old regional
director • of the American Arab Anti-
Discrimination Committee, was blown in
half by a booby-trapped bomb wired to his
office door from the inside. The previous
night, in the middle of the Achille Lauro
affair, Odeh appeared on a local ABC-TV
talk show to deny Arafat had any connec-
tion to the ship hijacking or the murder of
Leon Klinghoffer. "My tear ducts are
dry," Iry Rubin later said of Odeh's
murder. "I'm too busy crying over Odeh's
victims."
According to the FBI, each of the three
bombings were carried out with pipe-bomb
booby traps that were set to explode when
doors were opened. "Other characteristics
that were similar in the three bombings in-
dicate either the bomb-makers had the
same teacher or the same group or person
did it," said FBI official Sheer. "Each
bomb has a signature," he explained. "Do
you remember how in The Little Drummer

Continued on next page

121
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