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December 06, 1991 - Image 105

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-12-06

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

NEWS

THE
AMAZING
MARKET
PLACE

White Supremacist Metzger
Gets Six-Month Jail Term

Los Angeles (JTA) — Jew-
ish groups here have hailed
the conviction of white
supremacist Tom Metzger,
who was sentenced to six
months in jail for par-
ticipating in a cross-burning
ceremony in a Los Angeles
suburb eight years ago.
Organizational leaders say
the sentence shows a
toughening attitude toward
racist hate crimes, although
at least one official criticized
the lightness of the sentence.
It is the first jail sentence
in recent years for Mr. Met-
zger, the founder and leader
of the White Aryan
Resistance, or WAR, who
has been engaged in exten-
sive racist and anti-Semitic
activities for decades.
But a judgment of $9 mill-
ion was rendered last year
against Mr. Metzger, his son
John and WAR for inciting
the 1988 killing of an Ethio-
pian man in Portland, Ore.
As part of the California
sentence, Mr. Metzger, who
is also a former grand
dragon of the California Ku
Klux Klan, was fined $200
and ordered to perform 200
hours of community service
with organizations that
work with minorities or in a
hospital.
David Lehrer, regional di-
rector of the Anti-
Defamation League, de-
scribed the sentence as "a
victory for the Los Angeles
community, as well as other
communities across the
country, which have been
victimized by white
supremacist hate-mongers."
And Michael Hirschfeld,
assistant director of the Jew-
ish Federation Council of
Greater Los Angeles, said,
"The California legislature
— which recently passed a
hate-crimes bill — and other
legislative bodies are send-
ing a clear signal that such
offenses will no longer be
tolerated."
But Rabbi Gary
Greenebaum, regional direc-
tor of the American Jewish
Committee, felt that the six-
month sentence for Mr. Met-
zger "was somewhat light,
considering what is going
on, and could have been
more severe."
But at least, he said, it "is
a clear warning to people of
Metzger's ilk."
At the Simon Wiesenthal
Center, senior research as-
sociate Aaron Breitbart said,
"I doubt whether hard-core
haters like Metzger will ever
change in their hearts, but

at least they can be
prevented from inflicting
their poison on society."
Mr. Metzger was sentenc-
ed following an 11-week
trial, in which a jury con-
victed him on one misde-
meanor count of unlawful
assembly, but deadlocked on
a more serious felony
charge.
The trial stemmed from a
ceremony held exactly eight
years ago, on Dec. 3, 1983, in
which 15 men joined in
shouting racist slogans, giv-
ing Nazi salutes and burn-
ing three huge crosses in a
canyon overlooking the Los
Angeles suburb of Lake
View Terrace.
Prosecutors charged that
the ceremony was intended
to provoke violent clashes,
unite white racist groups,
and intimidate black and
other residents of the racial-
ly mixed community.
The cross-burning was
videotaped by a free-lance
journalist who had in-
filtrated the group, and the
tape was introduced at the
trial.
One segment on the tape
showed a racist "prayer"
delivered by Richard Butler,
head of the Idaho-based
Aryan Nations and its assoc-
iated Church of Jesus Christ
Christian, a white
supremacist, "Christian
Identity" church.
In his benediction, Mr.
Butler said, "So long as the
alien occupies your land,
hate is your law and revenge
is your first duty. We light
these crosses in the name of
God, over the Luciferian
scum of the earth."
Mr. Metzger was unrepen-
tant after the sentencing. He
told reporters, "We realize
that the white separation
movement and people who
stand up for white working
people" who "don't apologize
for their beliefs are going to
be hammered all the way
down the line. But nothing is
going to change."
"Each time they knock one
of us down, there are a thou-
sand more who will rise up,"
he said.
Two co-defendants in the
trial, who were convicted on
a more serious felony count,
also received six-month jail
sentences and were ordered
to perform 300 hours of
community work in Watts, a
poor, largely black section of
Los Angeles.
They are Stanley Witek,
reputed leader of the neo-
Nazi National Socialist

American Workers Party,
and Brad Kelly, who has no
known organization affilia-
tion.
As part of their three-year
probation, the three defen-
dants were ordered by Supe-
rior Court Judge J.D. Smith
not to associate with white
supremacist organizations.
Asked later by reporters
whether he would obey the
terms of probation, Mr. Met-
zger hesitated and then in-
quired, "You mean I can't
support David Duke?"
He was referring to the
Louisiana state legislator
who, although recently
defeated in his bid to become
governor of Louisiana, is
now poised to run, again, for
president.
Mr. Metzger'.s group,
WAR, spreads its racist mes-
sages through a cable televi-
sion program, "Race and
Reason," an international
fax and telephone network,
leaflets and speeches.
His son John leads the
White Aryan Youth, which
specializes in racist outreach
to younger peciple.

We've de-classified the name of our
huge classified section to call it what
it really is: THE AMAZING MARKET-
PLACE of budget-priced saleables and
services. For information how you can
advertise to almost everyone in your
community, call 354-6060.

Ireland
Makes Protest

Tel Aviv (JTA) — Israel is
receiving a protest from the
Irish government over the
death of one Irish soldier and
the wounding of another in a
clash in the southern Leb-
anon security zone between
the Israeli-backed South
Lebanon Army and United
Nations soldiers they
mistook for infiltrators.
One SLA soldier was
killed.
Israel Defense Force offi-
cers met with offices of the
United -Nations Interim
Force in Lebanon at Rosh
Hanikra over the weekend
to discuss how to avoid
future incidents.
The clash occurred at dusk
near Atiri village in the
security zone, just north of
the Israeli border. An SLA
unit • on alert for Hezbollah
guerrillas opened fire on a
group of armed men.
The fire was returned. It
was only after casualties
were inflicted on both sides
that the UNIFIL troops
managed to identify them-
selves.
But tempers ran high.
UNIFIL accused the SLA of
being "trigger-happy."
Members of the Irish patrol
admitted that they were in
the wrong place.

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THE JEWISH NEWS

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

105

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