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Jewish Journal

Voices of the Community

by Tom Tugend

March 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

"Justice has been served. Mr. Furrow has confessed to his crimes, the life sentence insures that he will never threaten anyone again, and a clear and unambiguous message has been sent that the commission of hate crimes will result in conviction and a severe penalty." -- David A. Lehrer, ADL regional director

"I have full confidence in our judicial system and it's my hope for the victims in our community that we can continue to move forward and heal." -- Nina Lieberman-Giladi, executive vice president, Jewish Community Centers of Greater Los Angeles

"I am here today on behalf of the Simon Wiesenthal Center to first express solidarity with and sorrow for the family of the late Joseph Ileto and the children and staff of the Jewish Community Center who were injured by Furrow.

"Today we witnessed Judge Nora Manella lock the door and throw away the key on a man whose original target on Aug. 10, 1999, was to attack the Simon Wiesenthal Center--Museum of Tolerance. We are grateful that the security arrangement in place at our campus thwarted his planned attack. I also came today to express support to U.S. Attorney Michael Gennaco and his team, whose efforts led to Furrow's life sentence and public admission of guilt. His open expression of guilt and remorse in court today means that white supremacists and neo-Nazis have been robbed of a martyr for their cause." -- Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

"This sentence brings an end to the Furrow case. But it does not end the ordeal our country continues to endure as long as those who are motivated by hate and possess a warped vision of the world commit such cowardly acts. The events of 1999's "summer of hate" -- when hate crimes were committed in Sacramento, Chicago and other cities -- and since have proven that gun control and the ever-more violent fringe in our society must be issues at the forefront of the national debate. We collectively commend the Los Angeles Police Department for their swift and professional handling of the situation the day of the shooting and the U.S. attorney and his staff for establishing the first Hate Crimes Division in any U.S. attorney's office that efficiently and successfully brought Buford Furrow to justice." - Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, western director of the American Jewish Committee and former president of the Los Angeles Police Commission.

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