Av 7 1 4 s
a lir ah/
Some of that support was evident
at the United Jewish Communities'
General Assembly in Jerusalem this
week, where pro-Pollard protestors
heckled Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
"This decision puts more pressure
on the Israeli government to act,"
said Seymour Reich, a New York
lawyer and longtime commutation
backer. "They have raised it, but feel
that private diplomacy is more effec-
Jewish leaders are looking for ways to
get local jurisdictions to take the issue
of hate crimes more seriously in the
wake of last week's federal hate crimes
More than a decade after passage of
the Hate Crimes Statistics Act, which
mandated the annual crime count,
reporting is still inadequate, Jewish
The report featured "the second
largest number of agencies reporting,
which is good news," said Michael
Lieberman, Washington counsel for
the Anti-Defamation League. But
big gaps remain.
Of more than 17,000 law enforce-
ment agencies nationwide, some
12,000 participated in the statistical
effort, about 70 percent. At the same
time, he said, "the vast majority of
agencies affirmatively reported zero
hate crimes, which is almost certainly
And a number of cities were "egre-
giously deficient" in reporting,
according to an ADL report, includ-
ing Milwaukee, Honolulu, Buffalo,
Detroit, Baltimore, Washington and
Overall, hate crimes dropped,
mostly because of the "diminution of
backlash crimes," Lieberman said.
These are crimes primarily against
Muslims and Arab-Americans, which
spiked in the months after the Sept.
11, 2001 terror attacks.
Crimes against Jews declined 10.7
percent during that period, according
to the report, but the statistics do not
include cases of harassment and dis-
crimination — which both Jewish
and Muslim officials say are on the
rise. Lieberman said ADL is looking
at states where data collection can be
improved, but praised the FBI for its
"Their training materials are the
best out there, and they continue to
take the issues seriously," he said. 1
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