APn 02/11 1722 Anti-Semitism Copyright, 1988. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. P
APn 02/11 1722 Anti-Semitism
Copyright, 1988. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- While membership in white supremacist
or hate groups is decreasing nationwide, new groups keep forming
that are more violent and extreme than their precursors,
officials of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith said
"(Hate) changes its colorations," said Abraham Foxman,
national director of the group. "The names are different, but
it's still there."
Foxman was in Palm Beach for three-day conference of the ADL's
National Executive Committee, made up of 250 Jewish community
leaders. The panel is discussing anti-Semitism, Jewish-Catholic
relations, Soviet Jewry and growing unease in the United States
about Israel's policies in occupied territories.
The group released a 139-page report, called "Hate Groups In
America: A Record of Bigotry and Violence," an update of a study
done eight years ago.
It identifies at least 67 active racist and anti-Semitic
organizations operating in the United States and said about 50
publications regularly "spew racist hatred and anti-Semitism."
The report said Klan membership slipped between 8,000 and
10,000, down to about 5,500, since the 1982 report, with "other
traditional segments of the movement losing strength
The ADL quotes Justice Department figures showing that 150
people have been prosecuted for racially motivated violence from
1979 to 1985, including 84 members of the Ku Klux Klan. The
examples cited include the slaying of Denver radio talk show host
Alan Berg, the bombing of synagogues in Indiana and Idaho and
arson at a Missouri church.
"Traditional hate groups such as the Klan and the neo-Nazis,
who for many, many years were competitive, in the last dozen
years have begun to meld together and merge in common cause to
set up ... new organizations such as The Order and the Aryan
Nations," said Justin Finger, associate national director of the
"There's one specifically dark cloud on the horizon," he said,
"the emergence of an import from England called the skinheads --
young people in their teens and 20s who shave their heads into
punk cuts, listen to hard rock music, wear Nazi regalia, and are
bitterly hostile to Jews, blacks and Hispanics."
Finger said the skinheads have surfaced in Midwestern cities
such as Chicago, Cincinnati and Dallas, as well as several cities
in Florida, including Clearwater, Gainesville and St.
"What is significant about the emergence of this group is that
more traditional extremists are delighted because they see
skinheads as a new and fertile recruiting ground for the future,"
The report indicated "there has been a forceful crackdown on
the hate movement where criminal activity is taking place,"
The report will be sent to the media and to law enforcement
agencies to help combat anti-Semitism and racism.
Meanwhile, Foxman said his group is concerned about television
images of Israeli soldiers beating Palestinian protesters.
Television, he said, "shows a media bite without perspective
or history, and without understanding."
"The way we see these pictures, it looks like (the
Palestinians are) young kids acting out their anxieties and their
hostilities. It isn't Berkeley and it isn't Chicago. We're
dealing with another version of war," he said.
Until the Israelis have someone "reasonable" to negotiate with
over the fate of the Palestinians, there will continue to be a
crisis, he said.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank