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January 03, 1992 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-01-03

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JANUARY 3, 1992 / 27 TEVET 5752


Staff Writer


t is apparent to Bernard
Davis that American
Jewish organizations
who scorned Rabbi Meir
Kahane in life have deserted
the former Kach leader in
Mr. Davis, 29, president of
the Detroit chapter of the
Jewish Defense Organiza-
tion (JDO), held meetings at
his Oak Park home this
week to discuss ways of
pressing the U.S. Depart-
ment of Justice into bringing
El Sayyid Nosair, acquitted
Dec. 22 of the Nov. 5, 1990,
assassination of Rabbi
Kahane, back to court.
The JDO joins the Anti-
Defamation League of B'nai
B'rith (ADL) and the Jewish
Community Relations Coun-
cil of New York in asking
the Assistant Attorney Gen-
eral's office to review Mr.
Nosair's conduct and charge
him with violating Rabbi
Kahane's civil rights.
"We're sending postcards
to the judge, to local and na-
tional Jewish organizations
and rabbis for help," said
Mr. Davis, an electrical
technician and U.S. Marine

Reserve officer. "We demand
the maximum sentence."
Mr. Davis said he'd receiv-
ed little if any response from
Detroit area Jewish organ-
izations. "A Jew was
murdered and no one comes
out to fight for his rights,"
he said. "I think they're glad
the rabbi is dead and
The 3 6-year-old Mr.
Nosair, a native of Egypt,
was cleared of the three
major counts in his indict-
ment. He was found not guil-
ty on the charge of second
degree murder for the kill-
ing of Rabbi Kahane and not
guilty on two counts of at-
tempted murder for woun-
ding a postal officer.
The jury found Mr. Nosair
guilty of assaulting the
postal officer, Carlos Acosta,
and guilty of assault against
an elderly man who was a
member of the audience
where Rabbi Kahane was
speaking. He was also found
guilty of coercion, for put-
ting a gun to the back of the
head of a cab driver and
commandeering the cab
minutes after the rabbi was
New York State Supreme
Court Judge Alvin Schles-
inger set Jan. 29 as the

Photo by Craig Te rkowitz

Detroiters React
To Kahane Case

Rabbi Meir Kahane: Controversial in death.

sentencing date. Maximum
sentences, if run con-
secutively, could total 36
years behind bars.
"Where is the justice for
Rabbi Kahane?" asked Mr.
Ever since the trial, Mor-
dachei Levy, head of JDO's
New York office, has staged
angry demonstrations out-

side the Greenwich Village
home of William M.
Kunstler, defense counsel
for Mr. Nosair. "We will con-
tinue to demonstrate until
the killer of Meir Kahane is
brought to justice," he said.
Mr. Levy, once a member
of the Jewish Defense
League, founded in 1968 by
Rabbi Kahane, created JDO
in the 1980s when Rabbi
Kahane started the Kach
Party (banned from the
Knesset in 1988), a move-
ment advocating the expul-
sion of Arabs from Israel.
"The American Jewish es-
tablishment should be rais-
ing hell at this (not guilty)
verdict," Mr. Levy said.
"Instead, they're just sitting
around like the cowards they
Laurence Imerman, vice
president of the Detroit
chapter of American Jewish
Committee, responded diff-
erently. "I'm bothered by
decisions taken by political
considerations," Mr. Imer-
man said. "And I'm not in
the position, 800 miles away,
tc second-guess a jury."
Mr. Imerman, an attorney
involved in criminal ap-
pellate defense work, said
the prosecution failed to
produce enough evidence
against Mr. Nosair to con-
vince a jury beyond a
reasonable doubt. "Just be-
cause the outcome (of the
trial) wasn't what you want-

ed, doesn't mean there was
cause for anti-Semitism,"
Mr. Imerman said.
Despite the five-week trial,
in which 51 prosecution and
six defense witnesses were
called to the stand, the jury
apparently accepted defense
arguments that Rabbi
Kahane was killed by un-
named JDL leaders or other
followers of the rabbi, over
politics or money supposedly
missing from a fund to sup-
port Rabbi Kahane's yeshiva
in Israel.
Mr. Imerman doesn't
think the federal govern-
ment should pursue the case.
"I think the federal Justice
Department should
intervene only when the
state judicial system is un-
fair or biased, where due
process of law has not been
exercised," he said.
Spokesmen for the Jewish
Community Council and
Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit declin-
ed to comment.
At the moment, ADL is the
only major Jewish organiza-
tion leading the federal civil
rights suit against Mr.
Nosair. "A thorough in-
vestigation by the U.S.
Justice Department would
underscore the govern-
ment's commitment to pro-
tecting our fundamental
civil rights," said ADL Na-
tional Chairmen Melvin

Continued on Page 16

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