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February 23, 1990 - Image 46

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

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

FOCUS

JDO

Continued from preceding page

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Sat. 10-3

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Southfield Commons
29211 Southfield Rd.
Southfield • 552.9507

46

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 1990

32422 Northwestern Hwy.
Farmington Hills • 932.3010

(Next to Vineyards Cafe & Deli)
Ask for Jerry Bernstein

Orthodox home in Brooklyn,
N.Y. He studied in a
yeshiva, majored in accoun-
ting in college (later learn-
ing that "God did not put me
on earth to be a CPA," he
told The Jewish Press in
New York) and watched
Jews in his neighborhood
"getting beaten up. That
really got me going."
So he joined the militant
Jewish Defense League,
headed by Rabbi Meir
Kahane. The JDL was his
kind of group, Levy says,
"because they came down
and protected the Jews."
As a member of the JDL,
Levy trained in self-defense
and participated in numer-
ous programs on behalf of
Soviet Jewry, one of Rabbi
Kahane's favorite causes.
"Most of all," Levy says, "I
took a stand for Jews."
In 1982, Levy split with
the JDL because the group
got into behavior a bit too
aggressive," like planting
bombs in homes of those
they regarded as the enemy.
Rabbi Kahane later decid-
ed to make aliyah and con-
centrate his efforts on Kach,
his political party in Israel.
"That was the beginning of
the end of the JDL," Levy
says. "Things were dead.
There was no training, no
activity, no nothing."
Then in 1985 Levy and a
group of friends got together
and decided to form the JDO
in Los Angeles. Initially an
underground movement, the
JDO soon moved its base to
New York and went public,
attracting more than 100
prospective members to its
first meeting.
JDO members have been
battling neo-Nazis, the
KKK, skinheads and others
they say are enemies of the
Jewish people ever since.
Newspaper report after
report details their scuffles
with the groups, as well as
with representatives of the
Palestinian Liberation
Organization. Levy calls the
PLO "Arab Nazis."
One of the JDO's most fre-
quent targets is Nation of
Islam leader Louis Far-
rakhan. Levy has been
known to follow the min-
ister, who called Judaism "a
gutter religion," from city to
city, each time amassing a
large demonstration usually
comprised of Jewish
students.
"Farrakhan is a Jew
hater," Levy says. "That's
my enemy."
Levy has protested Far-
rakhan in Atlantic City,
N.J., and in Albany, N.Y. He
mounted campaigns that led
to San Diego State Univer-
sity's and San Jose State

"

Wanted
Young, Dedicated Jews.

to train in Karate, Legal Gun Training and self-
defense to fight growing Neo-Nazis, Farakhan and
other Anti-Semites.
To March and Rally to Demand freedom for Soviet
Jews.
Young Jews today are as Apathetic as their Parents
Remember, silence killed 6 mHlion Jews
Join us as we tell the world
NEVER AGAIN
JEWISH DEFENSE ORGANIZATION
134 W. 32 St. Room 602 New York, N.Y. 10001
(212) 239-0447

The JDO recruitment poster.

University's decisions to
cancel planned visits by the
Nation of Islam leader. JDO
members threatened to br-
ing guns to Farrakhan's San
Jose talk.
And just in case anyone
has a question about the
JDO's position, one of the
group's fliers wishes Far-
rakhan "a quick end."
Levy has similar words for
former KKK Grand Wizard
David Duke, elected last
year to the Louisiana state
legislature. Duke heads the
New Orleans-based National
Association for the Ad-
vancement of White People.
Before the election, Levy
made numerous ap-
pearances throughout the
state to condemn Duke. He
organized rallies and made
speeches, enlisting support
from Tulane University
fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi.
Reaction to Levy was mix-
ed. The Rev. Marie Galatas,
a Republican activist in New
Orleans, said Levy made
tremendous headway in the
campaign against Duke.
Jewish leaders said other-
wise.
New Orleans Federation
Executive Director Jane
Buchsbaum said Levy cre-
ated "a wave of anti-
Semitism" and actually
mustered support for Duke.
"I'm embarrassed for us
and the Las Vegas commun-
ity," Las Vegas Federation
Executive Director Norman
Kaufman told a local paper
when Levy came to start a
JDO chapter in the Nevada
city.
Levy says he went to Las
Vegas because Jews asked,
him there. "When Jews are
in trouble, they come to us."

It's not difficult to under-
stand why Levy is less than
popular with most Jewish
leaders.
As part of its "battle plan
for Jewish survival," the
JDO lists as one of its goals
"to overthrow the do-
nothing Jewish leaders of
the do-nothing Jewish estab-
lishment" and to "insure
that the yardstick of every
Jewish organization will be
`Is it good for the Jews,' not
`Is it good for our image' nor
`What will the goyim
think.'
"Think about it," Levy
says. "Do these 'leaders'
really love Jews, or are they
trying to placate Jews?
"Ultimately, they are wor-
ried about their own fate and
not the fate of the Jewish
people. A lot of them are on a
power trip, and that's why
I'm a threat to them."
Much of the JDO's support
comes from students, who
turn out in the hundreds to
hear Levy speak at college
campuses.
Last week, he spoke before
several hundred students at
Columbia University. He
has appeared before large
groups at Brandeis Univer-
sity, Yeshiva University's
Stern College for Women,
Albany State University and
Cornell, where he told some
300 students: "This is one
Jewish group that doesn't
believe in being weak. If you
mess around with Jews,
you're going to get hit. If you
paint swastikas, you'll get
your arm broke."
Geraldo Rivera wasn't
painting swastikas when he
had his nose broken during
Levy's appearance on his
television show.

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