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Editorial: Vigilantes

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After getting the bum’s rush from Brooklyn, Rabbi Yakove Lloyd has brought his Jewish Defense Group to Queens. Lloyd said his band of vigilantes has begun patrolling Forest Hills and Kew Gardens Hills even though the police have not seen the posse.

Lloyd is more than a little thick, but by now he should have gotten the point that his band of merry men are not welcome here either. Nor are they needed. And they may be breaking the law. This is not another neighborhood watch. Lloyd has bragged that members of his patrol will be armed with baseball bats and, in some cases, with guns.

The patrol was formed in response to a report that revealed that terrorists were planning to target the city’s Jewish communities long before the attack on the World Trade Center. Does Lloyd really believe that a band of goofballs brandishing Louisville Sluggers can take on a sophisticated, highly disciplined group of terrorists armed with biological and chemical weapons?

It is all too likely that this patrol will do great harm before it does any good. In the hands of a frightened fanatic, a baseball bat is a lethal weapon. We agree with local elected officials have branded the patrol irresponsible and dangerous. The community must make it clear to Lloyd that he is no more welcome in Queens than he was in Brooklyn.

In recent years we have seen random acts of anti-Semitism. Just last week a neighborhood in Howard Beach was victimized by bigots who painted swastikas on property believed to be owned by Jews. We hope that the police will succeed in bringing these vandals to justice. Some areas may need increased patrols by the NYPD, but no neighborhood needs vigilantes. Not now. Not ever.

Posted 7:08 pm, October 10, 2011
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