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Top: Jewish Founded Organizations: JDL: JDL Militia Operating in NY Catskills Mountains
If you happen to be vacationing in the Catskill Mountains
or upper New York state or the mountains of neighboring Connecticut this
summer and hear the rattle of heavy gunfire nearby, it is not the U.S. military
in training or some "right wing" militia group on maneuvers.
Most likely you will be hearing a training session of members of the terrorist Jewish Defense League (JDL) or its spinoff, the Jewish Defense organization (JDO). And, those shooters might not be able to speak English very well. You could, in fact, be confronted by a youthful member of the JDL or JDO who is more than likely recent immigrants from Russia, living in the United States as a supposed refugee.
It is more than likely he will be from the Brighton Beach section of New York City, an underworld haven for Jewish Russian refugees comprising what has become known as the "Russian Mafia." The FBI says the outlaw organization stretches all the way to Moscow and is involved in virtually every sort of crime from smuggling (even nuclear materials) to contract murders.
TRAIN IN MOUNTAINS
In upstate New York, the JDL and no have been training for several years in the Catskill Mountains of Sullivan County, a short drive northwest of New York City not far from the Pennsylvania border.
Of course the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which has been screeching for years about the dangers to America presented by U.S. militia groups, doesn't have much to say about the JDL and no "troopers," who have been terrorizing residents of the Sullivan County area, particularly around the small resort village of Livingston Manor.
Nor will you find the JDL or the JDO listed as terrorist organizations in U.S. government reports on worldwide and domestic terrorist activity.
In fact, Irving Shapiro, vice chairman of the ADL's national volunteer commission, doesn't consider them dangerous at all--certainly not like U.S. civilian militias.
'They believe they have a mission and a purpose to protect Jews," Shapiro recently told the Middletown, New York, Sunday Record, which ran a front-page feature story about the young trainees, titled "For Jewish Militants, Catskills are a Training Ground."
Nothing has been heard at all from Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the New York Democrat who is one of the leading antigun advocates in the U.S. Senate and who can frequently be heard squawking about "crazies" with "assault rifles" scampering about his beloved, and neighboring, Delaware County; where he has a home in rural Pindars Corners.
(In fact, when called by this SPOTLIGHT reporter, the senator's staff did not want to even divulge the location of his nearby home. Could he, too, be fearful of the militants?)
Even Capitol Hill's loudest opponent of the Second Amendment ("the right to keep and bear arms"), Rep. Charles Schemer (DN.Y), current candidate for the Senate from New York and known to be a frequent visitor to the resorts of the Catskill Mountains, has been deafeningly silent about the mountain militants.
The New York State Police are closely monitoring the activities of the groups, which rent, from apparently sympathetic fellow Jews, camps in the Catskills of Sullivan County.
One such camp owner; Arthur Rosenzweig, who owns Camp Hilldale, in the village of Monticello, and lives on the camp grounds, told the Sunday Record, they came to me and told me they do a lot of self detense work and they called themselves Friends of Israel.
Nobody could get in here to see me without an escorted guard," Rosinzweig said. "But these people were very nice, they never hurt anybody."
But how nice are they really?
They spent five weeks at the camp and were closely monitored by the state police. Sullivan County Sheriff Daniel Hogue, acting on the complaints of neighbors, visited eight times but was refused admittance.
Nevertheless, no FBI and BATF sieges here, not even a peep of protest from the ADL or its fellow travelers at the Southern Poverty Law Center led by Morris Dees.
There was not a single report about the training activities on national television, not even after 18 were arrested last summer by state police for felony gun possession, of which four, believed to be the group's ring leaders, pleaded guilty last spring.
SLAP ON WRIST
No years in a federal prison for these militiamen, just five years probation meted out by Sullivan County Judge Burton Ledina, who also gave them Certificates of Relief from Disability.
In New York State, the certificates prevent, among other things, employers from denying them a job due to conviction on a felony charge.
I've objected to the certificates the day of the Sentencing," Sullivan County Assistant DA James Farrell said. "Most people, even if they get these certificates, don't get them until after probation is served at least halfway through."
DA Stephen Lungen said he was unaware of a case where certificates were issued by a judge upon sentencing "on such serious charges."
Judge Leaden had no comment.
Incredibly, his original decision specifically allowed the felons to even possess rifles and shotguns.
Farrell, however went back to court and argued against that provision allowed them by Ledina and it was dropped.
And where was the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) during all of this?
Apparently nowhere to be found.
Nevertheless, state police confiscated more than a dozen illegally possessed revolvers and semiautomatic, large capacity magazine pistols and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
"Some residents of Elm Hollow Road in Livingston Manor; where last summer's arrests took place, live in fear of the JDL," the Sunday Record reported under its "Militants in the Mountains" sub-headline in the three page feature story "They insisted on speaking anonymously, saying they feared reprisals if they were identified."
Colleen Dobbs, whose home is down the road from the Rosenzweig camp, was not reluctant to talk.
"I had a big problem with them," she said. "Every time I drove by, someone would stand outside and write down my license plate. This was very uncomfortable..."
And when her children were out playing, "all of a sudden out of the bushes, came men from the camp, crawling on their knees with rifles."
This summer; according to the newspaper account, the "Militants in the Mountains" were reported to be extending their training activities into remote areas of neighboring Connecticut.
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