Increased Level of Jewish Community Center Bomb Threats

Throughout the past month, there have been a staggering amount of bomb threats levied against Jewish Community Centers throughout the nation. On three isolated days alone in the past month (being January 9, January 18, January 31), dozens of threats were made to these havens of Jewish unity. On February 3rd, the Huffington Post released an article regarding these threats as well as a recording of one of them. The chilling recording is done by two people who have pitched their voices higher, professing that a C-4 bomb with “a lot of shrapnel” has been placed inside their building. The two tell the listener that the bomb will take the heads off multiple people and “Theres going to be a bloodbath thats going to take place in a short time.” Investigators say that a call like this does release some information regarding the caller. A forensic audio analyst concludes that this man was from New York/Brooklyn due to his accent, and the voice could have been recorded before hand or spoken directly over the phone. It is possible that this is the same call used to threaten multiple centers, because the call does not specifically mention which community center they are talking to and the call does not mention any specific date or anything specific to this one threat. So, these calls could all be done using the same recording to garner more attention and spark more panic. On those three days alone, there have been more than 3 dozen calls to different Jewish Community Centers throughout the United States. It is unclear whether all these calls have been linked...

Record Setting UK Anti-Semitism

On February 2 2017, BBC news posted a story remarking that the UK had seen a record setting number of anti-semitic incidents in history. These incidents of anti-semitism can be graffiti, damage to property, social media attacks, or physical assaults. In 2016, the Community Security Trust (CST), who monitor anti-semitism, recorded 1,309 incidents, topping the former high of 1,182 in 2014. The two most heavily jewish populated cities, London and Manchester, were plagued with having nearly three quarters of all of those incidents. It is unknown if this record setting number is because of increased boldness from anti-semites, or because of a higher inclination for people to report such incidents. The United Kingdom has seen unprecedented amounts of anti-semitic incidents in 2016. With luck, that number will sharply decrease for 2017. It is hard to say whether or not this record setting number is because of certain social climates or because of an increased empowerment of racial and anti-semitic bigots. Unfortunately, the highest frequency of these incidents occurred in the two most heavily jewish populated cities. Anti-semites really want to hit the jewish where they are and where it hurts. UK synagogues have been desecrated. Jewish people have been physically attacked in public. Graffiti scatters the storefronts and cars of jewish areas. Throughout social media anti-semites hide behind a keyboard and unleash their hatred upon their audience. Acts of anti-semitism such as these are characteristic for jew haters in this century and former ones. Graffiti and damaging jewish property have been the norm for targeting jews since before the holocaust. These acts are not characteristic of any single area either. All...

Bomb Threat at JCC in Lake Zurich

On January 31st, 2017, Elaine Frank Jewish Community Center Apachi Day Camp in Lake Zurich called the police at 10:30am after receiving a bomb threat over the phone.  According to the authorities, there have been a major spike in antisemitism crimes and in the morning on January 31st alone there were seventeen threats made to Jewish community centers. Other cities where similar threats were made were: Albany and Syracuse, N.Y., West Orange, N.J., Milwaukee, San Diego and Salt Lake City. Threats were made earlier this month in at least seventeen states across the nation. Some of these threats have been made by a live person over the phone or the perpetrators have used “robo calls”. These acts against Jewish community centers are very disheartening to hear. Jewish community centers are considered a safe space for Jewish people in the community to practice their faith and find solace within a shared community. Paul Goldenberg, the director of Secure Community Networks has stated that the recent election has given people the “opportunity to be more tolerant of this type of behavior, and that should be a concern for all of us”. This statement is very true since more acts of antisemitism have appeared in light of the election. I think these acts will continue to happen and more action against perpetrators as well as education needs to happen. People outside of the Jewish community need to understand the severity of antisemitism acts and how it affects the whole Jewish community. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/crime/ct-lns-anti-semitic-bomb-threats-st-0201-20170131-story.html Abderholden, Frank S. “Officials: Lake County Bomb Threat May Be Part of National Anti-Semitic Campaign.” Lake County News-Sun. N.p., 31 Jan....

Attacks on Jewish Centers

Raylin Pellatt January 2017 brought reoccurring incidents of bomb threats being called into the police targeting a range of Jewish centers, some almost 500 miles apart.  These calls were from an anonymous source, although all different voices. These calls were made during a very busy time for the centers and were made to local police stations saying there were bombs in these locations. Centers were evacuated and were deemed safe to return to several hours later. The police are still searching for the ones who made the phone call, and it is left to be determined if it is hate groups, terrorists groups, or someone unaffiliated. Luckily, no one was hurt from these calls but it shows the normalizations of hatred against minority groups in our current political climate and these actions being deemed okay by members of hate groups, specifically the alt-right. With both antisemitism and gun violence in America rising, these threats reflect the division in our country today and the decreasing sense of security for minority citizens. Calling in these threats might not have resulted in an attack this time, but targeting minorities is a reoccurring theme in America, along with the rest of the world, and proving to be a more dangerous place to live for everyone. With this kind of negative rhetoric in the United States, these negative and disgusting events will continue until there is a significant change in the way the United States focuses on all of its citizens.  ...

Second Wave of Bomb Threats Target Jewish Community Centers

Exactly one week ago, on Wednesday, January 18th, more than thirty Jewish community centers across the country received bomb threats that led to quick evacuations. As both the Christian Science Monitor and Slate report, these bomb threats ranged across seventeen states and came just ten days after a previous round of bomb threats called into sixteen JCCs across nine states in the Northeast and South. With the previous round of bomb threats, the calls were prerecorded, but with this latest round of threats, calls “were live and came from a woman who kept her message brief” (Strauss). Fortunately, the calls all turned out to be hoaxes and no one was hurt. An FBI investigation is currently underway, but as of now law enforcement officials have yet to determine whether or not there is a connection between the two waves of threats and have yet to identify who is responsible for these threats. What is clear, however, is that these threats—which some have labeled “telephone terrorism”—are only the most recent signs of rising antisemitism around the United States. Coupled with intense spikes in online harassment, antisemitic graffiti, and a wide-array of hate crimes, these waves of bomb threats are a direct attack on the American Jewish community. As Elissa Strauss points out, bomb threats against JCCs are particularly troubling because JCCs do not simply operate as cultural and religious centers, but also operate as child-care facilities. JCCs run day-care programs for children and offer after-school activities. With almost 150 locations across the country, JCCs “are the largest network of Jewish early childhood centers in the nation” (Strauss). By targeting Jewish...

Case of antisemtism at Oxford

On January 17, 2016 The Jewish Chronicle posted a story on how Oxford University, dropped the charges against two students who were members of the labour club for antisemtic remarks. The students were discussing  Zionists rigging British elections, and they were frequently using the term “Zio” and saying that europe wasn’t wrong to attack the jews because of Gaza. Jewish students had brought up a list of statements said by these students, then followed an investigation. Original reports showed that these statements were confirmed and they were seen as antisemtic, and the school received 300 pages of evidence from more than 40 OULC members and interviewed eight group members. Yet 11 months later the allegations were dropped, and the case was closed. This event can be seen as hate speech in the way the students made remarks on the Jewish community. The fact the school had dropped the charges with so many pieces of evidence makes me wonder why they didn’t go further with disciplinary actions. The article doesn’t mention the students’ background, but I wonder if they came from money and paid off the school. I also question the schools morals, because the article also mentions OULC vice-chair Alex Chalmers, stepped down claiming the labour club had a “problem with Jews” and still nothing was done after all the evidence was brought forward.I hope with enough support the board will revisit the case, and look at all the evidence and bring justice for the members of the Jewish community. Harpin, Lee. “Labour Drops Action against Oxford Students Accused of Antisemitism.” Thejc.com. N.p., 17 Jan. 2017. Web. 24 Jan....