Daily TIP

Jewish institutions hit with sixth wave of bomb threats

Posted by Tip Staff - March 07, 2017
The threats continue. Bomb threats were made Tuesday against at least 11 Jewish Community Centers and institutions across North America, as well as four offices of the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.

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.

In bed with Hamas. A United Nations agency official has been elected to the top governing body of Hamas, according to a report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. Muhammad al-Jamassi is a senior engineer at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides aid to Palestinian refugees. According to The Times of Israel, al-Jamassi “currently serves as board chairman for the UNRWA engineering department in central Gaza, and oversees all of the agency’s infrastructure projects in the area.”

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.”

Congress agrees on something. All members of the United States Senate signed an open letter on Tuesday asking the Trump administration to take action on the threats against Jewish institutions.

“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.

Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered yet another fantastic find from the past: this time, an impressive 2,000-year-old road dating to the Roman period. The preserved road – stretching up to six-meters wide and continuing for a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers – was revealed during an Israel Antiquities Authority excavation conducted prior to laying a water pipeline. “The road that we discovered, which 2,000 years ago passed along a route similar to Highway 375 today. . . was apparently meant to link the Roman settlement that existed in the vicinity of Beit Natif with the main highway known as the ‘Emperor’s Road.’ That road was in fact a main artery that connected the large settlements of Eleutheropolis (Bet Guvrin) and Jerusalem,” said Irina Zilberbod, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Zilberbod said the construction of the Emperor’s Road is thought to have taken place at the time of Emperor Hadrian’s visit to the country, circa 130 CE, or slightly thereafter. “The presence of a milestone (a stone marking distances) bearing the name of the emperor Hadrian which was discovered in the past close to the road reinforces this hypothesis,” she said. Archaeologists said coins were discovered between the pavement stones: a coin from the Great Revolt (67 CE), a coin from the Umayyad period, a coin of the prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate, dating to 29 CE and a coin of Agrippa I from 41 CE that was minted in Jerusalem. (via Israel21c)

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