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November 19, 2014 0

Don’t Hand the Bigots Another Victory

By Abra­ham H. Fox­man
National Direc­tor of the Anti-Defamation League

This arti­cle orig­i­nally appeared in The Huff­in­g­ton Post

 

For more than three decades, white suprema­cist and for­mer Klans­man Fra­zier Glenn Miller Jr. wore his hatred on his sleeve — some­times literally.

But now that he has traded his swastikas and Klan regalia for an orange prison jump­suit, one would have hoped that his record of hate­ful venom against Jews and other minori­ties would have been safely sequestered — and silenced — behind bars.

Not quite.

Miller, cur­rently await­ing trial on cap­i­tal mur­der charges in the April 13 shoot­ing ram­page out­side of a Jew­ish Com­mu­nity Cen­ter in Over­land Park, Kansas, is not one for hold­ing back his vir­u­lent anti-Semitic beliefs.

When asked why he car­ried out the attack — which killed physi­cian William Cor­poron, 69, and his grand­son, Reat Under­wood, 14, out­side of the Jew­ish Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, and Terri LaManno, 53, an occu­pa­tional ther­a­pist vis­it­ing her mother at a nearby senior cen­ter — Miller told The Kansas City Star that he was moti­vated both by his deeply held con­vic­tion that Jews must die and a sense of his own immi­nent mortality.

He had recently been admit­ted to the emer­gency room with emphy­sema and felt his life was com­ing to an end.

“I was con­vinced I was dying then,” Miller said in the Star’s exclu­sive inter­view pub­lished online Sat­ur­day. “I wanted to make damned sure I killed some Jews or attacked the Jews before I died.”

“Because of what I did, Jews feel less secure.”

Though Miller intended to kill inno­cent Jew­ish civil­ians, the tragic irony of his hor­rific crime is that he suc­ceeded in killing no Jews. Miller, 73, fired indis­crim­i­nately at any­one who crossed his path. Those sense­less deaths ter­ror­ized not only the Jew­ish com­mu­nity, but every­one in the greater sub­ur­ban Kansas City area — and beyond.

Miller did not wait for trial to con­fess his crimes, choos­ing instead to tell his story, laden with anti-Semitic tirades in the media rather than a judge or jury. The Kansas City paper devoted more than 2,500 words to a jail­house inter­view with Miller.

In the inter­view, Miller proudly described how he care­fully planned the shoot­ings, vis­it­ing the sites days ahead of time and cov­er­ing his tracks on the Inter­net so that law enforce­ment would be thrown off by his actions. And he rehashed his life story as a career bigot.

Miller rel­ished the effect he thought his vio­lence would have on the Jew­ish community:

“Every Jew in the world knows my name now and what I did. As for these… white peo­ple who are accom­plices of the Jews, who attend their meet­ings and con­tribute to their fundrais­ing efforts and who empower the Jews, they are my enemy too. A lot of white peo­ple who asso­ciate with Jews, go to Jew­ish events and sup­port them know that they’re not safe either, thanks to me.”

These sen­ti­ments are indeed shock­ing, but not sur­pris­ing to any­one who has fol­lowed his sor­did career of out­spo­ken big­otry. As early as 1985, Miller told ABC World News Tonight that, “now every­where I go peo­ple are agree­ing with me that the Jews do in fact con­trol this country.”

While the pub­lic has a right to know what moti­vated Miller, is there a need to give him an open micro­phone for those views? Many of these details would have come out dur­ing the trial. Why do we, as a soci­ety, feel the need to stare so long and so hard at the haters and big­ots among us?

Per­haps we should be look­ing in the mirror.

I, for one, was dis­ap­pointed with the Star’s deci­sion to give so much atten­tion to Miller and more dis­ap­pointed that it allowed him to spew his hatred. And I am annoyed and angry at the prison offi­cials who so read­ily made him avail­able to speak at length in a series of phone inter­views to a journalist.

Pub­li­ciz­ing Miller’s hate-filled tirades do not serve a com­mu­nity still emo­tion­ally bat­tered by his self-serving vit­riol. The Jew­ish com­mu­nity, the Cor­poron and LaManno fam­i­lies and the entire Greater Kansas City region can cer­tainly live with­out more of Miller’s hate speech.

More than a decade ago, Louis Far­rakhan, the anti-Semitic and racist leader of the Nation of Islam, was invited to appear as a guest on NBC’s Meet the Press. At the time I remem­ber being sur­prised that any respectable news pro­gram would give some­one with such deep ani­mos­ity toward Jews and oth­ers a plat­form where he could sell him­self as a mod­er­ate leader.

I appealed to the great Tim Russert, the host at the time, not to give Far­rakhan a plat­form on the network’s pres­ti­gious Sun­day news pro­gram, argu­ing that his sta­tus as a racist and a bigot made him a pariah and a poor sub­ject for an inter­view. The appear­ance went ahead, but not with­out Russert ask­ing pointed ques­tions about Farrakhan’s his­tory of hatred toward Jews.

Years later, after a series of hate-filled anti-Semitic speeches in which he has ful­mi­nated against Jew­ish power and blamed Jews for every­thing from pro­mot­ing the African slave trade to con­trol­ling Hol­ly­wood, Far­rakhan has achieved the sta­tus of a true out­cast. I hope that no legit­i­mate, main­stream news out­let would give him a voice.

The same rule should hold true for the anti-Jewish big­otry of Fra­zier Glenn Miller Jr.

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July 7, 2014 0

Israeli Leaders Speak Out Against the Revenge Killing of Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir

Israeli lead­ers expressed shock and hor­ror that Israeli Jews are appar­ently respon­si­ble for the kid­nap­ping and bru­tal mur­der of Muham­mad Hus­sein Abu Khdeir, a six­teen year old boy from the Beit Shuafat neigh­bor­hood in East Jerusalem, whose burned body was found in the Jerusalem For­est on July 2.

Six Israelis were arrested, and are believed to have car­ried out the mur­der as an act of revenge for the killing of 3 Israeli teens, Naf­tali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, who were kid­napped on June 12, and mur­dered by Pales­tini­ans asso­ci­ated with Hamas.

Muhammad 7-8

ADL con­demned Muhammad’s mur­der and the ”alarm­ing surge” of incite­ment within Israeli society.

Fol­low­ing a con­do­lence call to the fam­i­lies of the 3 Israelis teens, Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu con­demned the shock­ing killing of Muham­mad, and declared:

We do not dif­fer­en­ti­ate between the ter­ror­ists and we will respond to all of them, wher­ever they come from, with a firm hand. We will not allow extrem­ists from wher­ever they come to ignite the region and shed more blood.

The fol­low­ing day, July 7, in speak­ing to Muhammad’s father, Hus­sein Abu Khdeir,  the Prime Min­is­ter said:

I would like to express my out­rage and that of the cit­i­zen of Israel over the rep­re­hen­si­ble mur­der of your son.  We acted imme­di­ately to appre­hend the mur­der­ers.  We will bring them to trial and they will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.  We denounce all bru­tal behav­ior; the mur­der of your son is abhor­rent and can­not be coun­te­nanced by any human being.

Israeli Pres­i­dent Shi­mon Peres spoke emo­tion­ally to Mr. Abu Khdeir, saying:

I am ashamed on behalf of my nation and grieve with you. The only thing left for all of us to do is to ensure that no more chil­dren are mur­dered, and no more tears are shed by mothers.

Peres was joined by incom­ing pres­i­dent Ruby Rivlin in an op-ed in Yediot Ahronot , appeal­ing to Jew­ish and Arab Israelis to fight incite­ment and hate:

…there is no dif­fer­ence between blood and blood. The demo­c­ra­tic State of Israel sanc­ti­fies the moral right to life and the equal right each per­son has to be dif­fer­ent. The mur­der of a boy or a girl, Jew­ish or Arab, is an unac­cept­able act…It is our duty to stop the jour­ney of incite­ment. We must under­stand that we have no other way but to live together. The blood­shed will only stop when we all real­ize that we have not been sen­tenced to live together, but des­tined to live together. Any hes­i­ta­tion or com­pro­mise on this issue will lead to dete­ri­o­ra­tion which could be dis­as­trous not just to our life together, but to our actual life.

Join­ing the offi­cial pro­nounce­ments were those of a more per­sonal nature.  In The Times of Israel, Sherri Man­dell, the mother of thir­teen year old, Koby Man­dell who was mur­dered by Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists in 2001, harshly con­demned the killers of Muham­mad, writ­ing in a blog enti­tled  “How Dare You”:

When I heard that the three yeshiva boys, Naf­tali, Eyal, and Gil-ad, were mur­dered I admit I felt both rage and anger. Those are legit­i­mate feel­ings when young boys in your com­mu­nity are kid­napped and mur­dered. But the Jew­ish way is always to choose life, not death. To seek jus­tice, not vengeance. Jus­tice is not burn­ing another inno­cent human being alive. Jus­tice is allow­ing the gov­ern­ment to find the mur­der­ers and pun­ish them. I am con­cerned about how the world views us in Israel. But I am more con­cerned about what we say and think about our­selves. What can we believe about our own soci­ety now that you have weak­ened our integrity? We are guilty of com­mit­ting an abom­inable depraved act.

Per­haps the most poignant con­dem­na­tions came from the fam­i­lies of the three Israeli teens.  Naf­tali Fraenkel’s uncle, Yishai, reached out to the Abu Khdeir fam­ily and said:  “there is no dif­fer­ence between those who mur­dered Muham­mad, and those who mur­dered our chil­dren. Those are mur­der­ers, and these are mur­der­ers. And both must be dealt with to the full extent of the law, and we told him that.”

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February 4, 2014 0

FBI Hosts ADL Extremism Training for North Texas/Oklahoma Regional Office

ADL’s North Texas/Oklahoma Regional Office pro­vided a day-long train­ing on domes­tic extrem­ism to 161 local, state and fed­eral law enforce­ment offi­cers rep­re­sent­ing 40 agen­cies on Jan­u­ary 29. The train­ing was co-sponsored and hosted by the FBI, Dal­las Divi­sion.dallas-fbi-adl-extremism-training

ADL’s Dr. Mark Pit­cav­age and Oren Segal, two of the Direc­tors of ADL’s Cen­ter on Extrem­ism, pre­sented train­ing on the activ­ity, tac­tics and ide­ol­ogy of var­i­ous domes­tic extrem­ists move­ments and groups. Dr. Pit­cav­age focused on anti-government move­ments, includ­ing sov­er­eign cit­i­zens, as well as white suprema­cists. Mr. Segal focused on the rad­i­cal­iza­tion process and crim­i­nal activ­ity asso­ci­ated with home­grown extrem­ists moti­vated by rad­i­cal inter­pre­ta­tions of Islam, as well as the role of the Inter­net in the rad­i­cal­iza­tion process.

“The FBI Dal­las Divi­sion is proud to part­ner with ADL on a num­ber of ini­tia­tives, includ­ing law enforce­ment train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties,” said Assis­tant Spe­cial Agent in Charge Don­ald Freese. “These con­fer­ences strengthen national secu­rity by train­ing law enforce­ment to iden­tify and pre­vent hate crimes and extrem­ism in our community.”

“ADL is grate­ful to the FBI for being strong com­mu­nity part­ners, help­ing to pro­vide such impor­tant train­ings for law enforce­ment through­out our Region,” said ADL North Texas/Oklahoma Com­mu­nity Direc­tor Roberta S. Clark. “In addi­tion to pro­vid­ing crit­i­cally impor­tant train­ing, these oppor­tu­ni­ties allow us to inform law enforce­ment pro­fes­sion­als about the many ways ADL can be of assis­tance to them in areas of hate crimes, hate groups, extrem­ists and terrorists.”

The FBI Cit­i­zens Acad­emy Alumni Asso­ci­a­tion gen­er­ously hosted a Con­ti­nen­tal break­fast for the par­tic­i­pants. The train­ing eval­u­a­tions were over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive and expressed great appre­ci­a­tion to ADL for pro­vid­ing such an impor­tant opportunity.

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