March 9, 2006
Speak Up, Speak Out
Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills hosted an overflow crowd of 600 guests for a community conversation about Jihad, the riots in France and the threats to Israel posed by Hamas and Iran. Sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition L.A. Chapter and the Israel Christian Nexus, the program featured unique insights from noted columnist and historian Victor Davis Hanson, former PLO terrorist and anti-radical Islam activist Walid Shoebat, and French journalist Philippe Karsenty, who revealed the fraudulent story that young Muhummad Al Dura was killed by Israelis at the start of the second intifada.
The speakers proclaimed deep concern about European anti-Semitism, Arab militarism and the failure of liberal minds in the West to recognize the dangers of Muslim tyranny.
Hanson detailed the twin threats of U.S. oil addiction and nuclear proliferation in Iran; Shoebat explained that he runs a security risk due to his revealing the nature of Palestinian terrorism, to which he was committed as a youth, and Karsenty said that the riots in France continue, but the French government and media hide the nature and effects of Islamic radicalism in Europe from the French people. -- Karmel Melamed, Contributing Writer
Love From Hate
About 200 police officers, federal agents and community leaders attended the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) Feb. 16 Sherwood Awards luncheon at the Skirball Cultural Center, honoring local law enforcement agencies' hate crime investigations.
"When my wife and I started this, we thought we'd run out of bad guys, but apparently there's still a lot to go around," said family patriarch Joseph Sherwood, who with his wife, Helene, created the award to highlight hate crimes-focused police work in the ADL's Pacific Southwest Region.
The U.S. attorney's public corruption and civil rights section was honored for building federal indictments against four Highland Park Latino gang members who assaulted African Americans. Last June also saw federal indictments against an L.A. man for allegedly mailing out 52 syringe-filled manila envelopes to Children's Hospital Los Angeles, a congressional office in Lakewood, a federal customs office in Georgia and randomly selected L.A. home addresses with traditionally Jewish last names.
"Typically the letters started with the words, 'Die Jew Die,' in red and black letters," said Los Angeles Police Department First Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell before presenting the Sherwood award to civil rights section chief Tom O'Brien and U.S. Attorney Debra Wong Yang.
Also honored were the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the FBI and arson and hate crimes tasks force comprised of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, FBI, Riverside Police and Fire departments and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. Those Inland Empire task forces successfully coordinated the felony arrests of 18 white supremacists and a separate arson investigation of a targeted mosque and a church.
The ADL prize's reputation among police is growing. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke on "Hate Is an Emotion as Old as Mankind." There was a large contingent of Riverside sheriff's deputies who, after the ADL luncheon, posed with their Sherwood medallions. Also at the event was Marianne, the ATF L.A. field division's bomb-sniffing black Labrador. -- David Finnegan, Contributing Writer
Tiffany's Love Match
The recent kickoff reception and official unveiling of The Billies Award, which reccognizes media excellence in women's sports and physical activity, took place at Tiffany & Co. Beverly Hills.