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February 23, 1990 - Image 45

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-02-23

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

gIVAVAMIMAIliownWir.

FOCUS

The JDO protests a visit
by Louis Farrakhan to
Atlantic City, N.J.

No More
Mr. Nice Guy

Members of
the Jewish
Defense
Organization
were sick of
the meek and
the weak.
Now, they're
fighting back.

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM

Assistant Editor

T

hey're a group as
at home with a
gun as they are
with a tallit.
They guard syn-
agogues; they rave and rant
at the name Louis Far-
rakhan; they're ready to
stomp on the skinheads. They
call themselves the Jewish
Defense Organization, and
they are out to change the
world.
The JDO is a New York-
based group that trains Jews

Mordechai Levy:
"When we're hit, we hit back."

to fight anti-Semitism with
more than words. They
sponsor camps to train Jew-
ish youths in paramilitary
activities — youths who may
one day brandish the group's
emblem, a Star of David and
a rifle. Their members learn
karate and judo. The favor-
ite call of the group's
outspoken leader, Mordechai
Levy, is "Better to have a
gun and not need it than
need one and not have it."
With more than 3,000
members nationwide and
chapters in the United
States, France, Mexico and
South America, the JDO is
looking to expand: They
hope soon to establish a
Detroit branch.
A number of JDO sup-
porters already live in the
area. One of them is Dennis,
a black Jew who joined the
organization because of his
frustration with Jewish
leaders who talked a lot and
did little. He gives this ex-
ample:
The Ku Klux Klan an-
nounces an upcoming march
down the streets of Detroit.
Blacks won't stand for it.
They don't want any racist
groups in their neighbor-
hood and they're not afraid
to say so. They plan to take
action.

Next week, neo-Nazis set a
date for a demonstration in
Oak Park. Jewish leaders
appoint a committee to study

JOIN THE
MHITE L1:11
, /AN
DESISTANCE

POlv o



4-

SKINS

GET OUT!
FILTHY JEW PIGS!

WHITE ARYAN RESISTANCE )WAR.). FM-I-BROOK CA

A flier by JDO foe White Aryan
Resistance.

the matter; the conclusions
should be ready in about six
years. Jews also issue a
statement expressing their
concern about the neo-Nazis
but add, "we respect their
right to freedom of speech."
Establishing committees,
waiting for reports, issuing
mild statements: This is no
way for anyone to behave

toward his enemy, Dennis
says. "There's a price for be-
ing passive. It's called
genocide."
Dennis joined the JDO
after hearing Levy speak in
1986 in Ann Arbor.
"The neo-Nazis in Detroit
are a serious threat," Dennis
says. "They represent trou-
ble for Jews and all
minorities.
"Our tragedy is that, in
the past, we didn't fight
back. Angry, disenchanted
youth — that's how it all
started in Nazi Germany.
Jews confuse being peace
loving with being passive."
Levy says he came to
Michigan in 1986 to muster
support for the JDO and to
counter organizations like
the New Jewish Agenda,
which he says spends too
much time thinking about
Palestinians and not enough
concentrating on more im-
portant issues. "For Jews,
the Jewish cause comes
first."
A second talk, to be held at
Wayne State University,
was cancelled after Jewish
students feared confronta-
tion with Arab groups, but
Levy accomplished his goal.
"I raised a lot of hell," he
says.
Levy, 28, was raised in an

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

45

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