All 100 Senators Demand Action Against Wave of Antisemitic Bomb Threats
JNS.org – A sixth wave of bomb threats since the beginning of 2017 targeted nearly a dozen Jewish community centers (JCCs) and Jewish day schools across the US and Canada Tuesday.
According to reports, Jewish schools and institutions in New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maryland, Oregon, Florida and Alabama were threatened either over the phone or by email. Two Canadian JCCs in Toronto and London, Ontario, were also threatened.
In addition to the JCCs and schools, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) offices in Atlanta, Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York City were all threatened.
“This is not ‘normal,'” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO, said in a statement. “We will not be deterred or intimidated.”
Since the start of January, at least 98 threats have been made against JCCs and Jewish day schools, according to the JCC Association of North America. The umbrella organization said that the incidents have been a mix of in-person, email and robocall threats.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer condemned the latest wave of bomb threats Tuesday.
“I want to acknowledge that there’s been an additional wave of threats to Jewish community centers and Anti-Defamation League offices,” Spicer told reporters.
“I share the president’s thoughts that he vehemently hopes that we don’t continue to have to share these reports with you. But as long as they do continue, we’ll continue to condemn them and look at ways in which we can stop them,” he added.
Meanwhile, the US Senate Tuesday joined the Trump administration in addressing the anti-Jewish threats, calling for “swift action” to end them.
“We are concerned that the number of incidents is accelerating and failure to address and deter these threats will place innocent people at risk and threaten the financial viability of JCCs, many of which are institutions in their communities,” stated a letter signed by all 100 members of the Senate.
The letter — which was addressed to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey — also called on the nation’s top law enforcement officials to communicate with Jewish institutions on “victim assistance, grant opportunities or other federal assistance that may be available to enhance security measures and improve preparedness.”