By BB Portnoy
President Donald Trump is “deeply disappointed and concerned” by the ongoing upsurge in antisemitism across the US, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Monday.
At a White House press briefing, Spicer referred to the recent desecration of two Jewish cemeteries — in St. Louis and Philadelphia — and the spate of telephone bomb threats targeting Jewish institutions.
“The president continues to condemn these and any other form of antisemitic and hateful acts in the strongest terms,” Spicer said. “No one in America should feel afraid to follow the religion of their choosing freely and openly. The president is dedicated to preserving this originating principle of our nation.”
On Monday, bomb threats were called into Jewish community centers and schools in 11 states.
“Antisemitism of this nature should not and must not be allowed to endure in our communities,” David Posner — director of strategic performance at the JCC Association of North America — said in a statement.
“The Justice Department, Homeland Security, the FBI, and the White House, alongside Congress and local officials, must speak out — and speak out forcefully — against this scourge of antisemitism impacting communities across the country,” he continued. “Actions speak louder than words. Members of our community must see swift and concerted action from federal officials to identify and capture the perpetrator or perpetrators who are trying to instill anxiety and fear in our communities.”
“We remain grateful to local law enforcement who continue to serve our communities and ensure that our JCCs and schools remain safe and open for business as the vital community institutions they are,” Posner concluded.
Last Monday, at least ten Jewish community centers in the US received bomb threats.
Last month, an international security consultant and political risk analyst told The Algemeiner that the bomb threats directed at the Jewish community were part of an “unfortunate growing trend.”
“There has been an increase in non-profit organizations — both Jewish and not — receiving these types of bomb threats, whether through robocalls or other telephonic means,” Dr. Joshua Gleis, president of Gleis Security Consulting, said.
One reason for this, according to Gleis, is technology.
“It’s very easy today to anonymously make phone calls,” he noted. “Law enforcement cannot always find out where they are coming from.”
The perpetrators, Gleis said, might “just be looking to sow fear in the community.”
“But another concern, which is more sinister, is that it is not just to create panic and fear, but really, God forbid, to see how different organizations respond and then potentially attack them while they’re responding — for example attack them while they are evacuating, where they could be potentially more vulnerable because now there are hundreds of people outside,” he added.
Watch Spicer’s remarks below:
(c) 2017 The Algemeiner Journal