- Jewish institutions hit with sixth wave of bomb threats
- Report: Senior UN staffer in Gaza elected to Hamas leadership position
- Every member of Senate signs letter urging action on threats to Jewish centers
- Archaeologists uncover Roman-era road near Bet Shemesh
These are the first threats made against Jewish targets in the United States since Juan Thompson was arrested on Friday for calling in bomb threats to eight JCCs and the Manhattan office of the ADL. Thompson is believed to have made the threats in order to harass a former girlfriend. Authorities say that Thompson is not responsible for the majority of the threats made against Jewish institutions nationwide.
Since January 9, over 100 Jewish American institutions have received bomb threats. While no explosives have been found in any of the facilities threatened to date, the calls cause significant disruptions due to mandatory evacuations.
The Secure Community Network, which is affiliated with Jewish Federations of North America, reported that JCCs in Wisconsin, Maryland, Oregon, Florida, Alabama, and at least two community centers in New York were targeted as of midday Tuesday. The threats, which were conveyed by a combination of phone calls and e-mail messages, were also directed toward Canadian JCCs in Toronto and London, Ontario.
Chicago’s NBC affiliate reported that a threat was made against a local Jewish day school, while the ADL said that its national office in New York and its offices in Washington D.C., Boston, and Atlanta were also targeted.
UNRWA recently suspended the head of its employees’ union, Suhail al-Hindi, who Israel’s Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said had been elected to a leadership role within Hamas in a February vote.
Last month, UN Watch released a 130-page report citing specific examples of UNRWA teachers inciting their students to terrorism and anti-Semitism. The examples include “UNRWA teachers and staffers celebrating the terrorist kidnapping of Israeli teenagers, cheering rockets being fired at Israeli civilian centers, endorsing various forms of violence, erasing Israel from the map, praising Hitler and posting his photo, and posting overtly antisemitic videos, caricatures, and statements.”
“These cowardly acts aim to create an atmosphere of fear and disrupt the important programs and services offered by JCCs to everyone in the communities they serve, including in our states,” the senators said in the appeal.
“This is completely unacceptable and un-American,” it added. “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.”
The letter will be sent to the heads of multiple government agencies, including Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and FBI Director James Comey.