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Fifth wave of bomb threats hits Jewish centres in America

    Jewish schools and community centres across the United States were again targeted by bomb threats on Monday. A bomb threat also forced the evacuation of the Anti-Defamation League’s San Francisco office.

    The simultaneous phone threats forced the evacuation of 29 schools and community centres in 16 states from Rhode Island to California. It was the fifth wave of hoax threats since the new year.

     The Jewish Community Association of North America (JCCA) called on the security services to step up the search to identify those responsible.  

     “Antisemitism of this nature should not and must not be allowed to endure in our communities,” said David Posner, director of strategic performance at the JCCA. “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. Actions speak louder than words.”

    The ADL said it was the second time in a week that a bomb threat had been received at one of its offices. “One threat or evacuation is one too many and yet we’ve now seen more than 20 incidents in a single day not just to ADL, but to children's schools and community centres - and more than 90 incidents since the start of this year,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL CEO.  “The level of threats and incidents is astounding.”

    After coming under heavy pressure to speak out about the threats, President Donald Trump last week denounced antisemitism as “horrible”, adding that the incidents were “a painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil”.

    President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who converted to Judaism, also urged tolerance, tweeting: “America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship and religious centres.”

    However, the president and his team were accused of doing too little to combat antisemitism, with the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect saying Mr Trump’s words last week were “a pathetic asterisk of condescension”.

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