World Jewish News
Wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers continues in the US, hits also Canada
The wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers in the United States continues: at least seven centers in the US and also in Canada were threatened during Purim celebrations.
The threats, either called in or emailed, were reported at Jeish community centers in Rochester, New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Houston, and Vancouver, Canada.
Most of the centers were evacuated and searched, JTA reported.
The threats are part of a wave that has hit Jewish centers, Jewish schools and other Jewish institutions since the beginning of the year.
More than 150 threats have been received since the beginning of the year, according to the Secure Community Network (SCN), which coordinates security across Jewish organizations in North America.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the threat against the Rochester center “a despicable and cowardly act” of anti-Semitism. He ordered the New York State Police to launch a more intense investigation into the threats, and to work with federal and local law enforcement on the investigation.
“Like all New Yorkers, I am profoundly disturbed and disgusted by the continued threats against the Jewish community in New York,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Last week, vandals scrawled graffiti claiming the Holocaust was “fake history” on an exterior wall of a Seattle synagogue, leading the rabbi to urge US President Donald Trump to more forcefully denounce a wave of anti-Semitic incidents.
In more than a dozen countries, it is against the law to publicly deny that Jews were the victims of the Holocaust by the Nazis but such speech is permitted in the United States under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Trump has denounced the anti-Semitic incidents, notably at the start of his address to Congress last month.
100 members of the US Senate have urged the Trump administration to offer support and assistance to US Jewish communities. They called on the authorities on all levels to take every action to combat anti-Semitism and ensure the security of these communities
“American Jews are living in a distressing new reality, in which anti-Semitic threats and incidents have become all too common place,’’ said World Jewish Congress President Ronald S.Lauder. ‘’Anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head in the US in the past, but not on such a widespread and consistent level.
Politicians, local authorities, and lay citizens alike must be vigilant against all expressions of anti-Semitism and work together to ensure that these cowardly threats and acts of hatred never morph into violence,’ he said.