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March 2, 2017 7:14 am

US Jewish Groups Form National Security Advisory Council Amid Antisemitism Spike

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Vice President Mike Pence aids in the cleanup effort at a recently vandalized Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, Feb. 22, 2017. Photo: Pence's Twitter account.

Vice President Mike Pence aids in the cleanup effort at a recently vandalized Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, Feb. 22, 2017. Photo: Pence’s Twitter account.

JNS.org – A new national security advisory council to protect American Jewry has been formed in response to the widespread uptick in antisemitic attacks across the US.

The council is a project of the Secure Community Network (SCN), which is itself a joint initiative of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and the Conference of the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Michael Siegal, chair of SCN and a former chair of JFNA, and Paul Goldenberg, national director of SCN, will introduce the members of the new council at a Thursday morning briefing. A former deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is said to be included.

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“SCN leaders and council members have been working closely with DHS, FBI and local law enforcement, as well as congressional and administration officials, to ensure ongoing threats and incidents targeting the Jewish community remain a focuses priority and all law enforcement and other relevant resources are leveraged in thwarting these events,” said a statement from the organizations involved.

SCN is considered the leading national US Jewish organization dedicated to the community’s homeland security interests.

In an address Wednesday to the Jewish People Policy Institute in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that antisemitism “certainly has not disappeared. But there is much we can do to fight back.”

“World leaders need to unequivocally condemn antisemitism wherever it is found,” Netanyahu said. “And I appreciate the fact that in the last few weeks and days, [US] President [Donald] Trump and Vice President [Mike] Pence have taken a strong stance in condemning antisemitism. This is what we expect, too, from European leaders. Most of them have done it and this is what we must demand from governments around the world, because Jews around the world should not live in fear.”

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