Fourth Estate Staff
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Jewish Community Centers have been the target of bomb threats and the latest was on Monday, which prompted evacuations.
A total of 11 Jewish Community Centers received calls on Monday making it the fourth time such threats were made. Marla Cohen, the communications manager for the Jewish Community Center Association, said calls were made in Minnesota, New York, Alabama, Wisconsin, Nashville, New Mexico, Florida, and Chicago. The centers were reopened hours after when the investigations were completed and the centers were cleared.
According to reports, at least 67 incidents at 56 Jewish Community Centers all over United States received threats since this year started. The increase in the threats against the Jewish Community Centers started to pick up after Donald Trump started with his presidential campaign.
Heidi Beirich , director of the Intelligence Project, said, “I’ve been working at SPLC since 1999. I’ve never seen a string of attacks like this that are targeting the same kind of institution in the same kind of way. This is new.” She also said it is unclear if the threats are being made only by one person or if there are more people linked to the incidents.
Anti-Semitic hate crimes have seen an increase and Trump was asked about these cases in the past week. He denied that there is a rise in hate crimes and sometimes downplayed the reports. Deputy White House Press Secretary Lindsay Walters did not directly address anti-Semitism but said of the bomb threats, “Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom.”
Paul Goldenberg , the director of Secure Community Network, an affiliate of the Jewish Federations of North America, believe the threats are made by only one caller. He also said the community centers are well-equipped for any kind of attack.
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