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  Jewish Defense League: JDL in Prescott Paper







Jewish Defense League Offers Reward in Graffiti Case

The Daily Courier (Prescott Newspaper) Front Page:

Friday, January 12, 2001
PRESCOTT – The Arizona chapter of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for spray-painting threatening, anti-Semitic graffiti on the headquarters of Prescott’s Safe Schools, Safe Students.
 Vandals have struck the Miller Valley Road headquarters of the organization, which features a nationwide anti-bullying hotline, four times since late October, and its director, Rod Beaumont, said that volunteer employees, mainly students, have received threats.
 But a dispute exists over whether the attacks are truly hate crimes or just garden-variety vandalism.
 “By its appearance, it looks like a hate crime, but we need something more than we have to really show that,” said Prescott Police Detective Larry Martinez.  “In a hate crime, it’s usually directed at a person, but there’s nobody over there I’ve heard of who’s Jewish.”
 Ian Rakow, chairman of the Arizona chapter of the JDL, said the spray-painted messages, which included threats and references to Hitler, are prompting a serious response from his organization.
 “This is not a game,” Rakow said.  “This isn’t funny and we’re taking this very seriously.”
 And while local police do not know who is responsible for the repeated acts, Rakow said he is certain it is the work of more than one individual.
 “It’s not one person who did this; it’s too much damage,” Rakow said, going on to intimate that Prescott authorities are downplaying the possibility of the presence of organized hate groups.
 “Nobody wants to admit that there are problems in Prescott, but there obviously are,” he said.
 Prescott has a history of attempted start-ups by white supremacist groups, but police say that, for a number of reasons, the groups have never taken root.
 The attacks on Safe Schools, Safe Students reached felony levels because the cost of the clean up exceeds $250.
 Meanwhile, a Phoenix-based FBI official said they have the report on the case and are evaluating the necessity of an investigation under federal statutes.
 Anyone with information on the case should call Prescott police, 778-1444, Yavapai Silent Witness, 1-800-932-3232, or the JDL, (602) 242-2221.







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