As threats on Jewish Community Centers increase, lawmakers are putting aside partisan politics to find answers.
While stories of “Islamaphobia” tend to dominate the 24-hour news cycle, there has been a rise in anti-semitic behaveior in the U.S.
In response to the recent bomb threats on the Jewish community around the country, all 100 senators joined together, in a moment of unseen bipartisanship, urging the Trump administration to help the Jewish institutions.
A letter was written to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, and FBI Director James Comey expressing the senator’s intentions, saying “We write to underscore the need for swift action with regard to the deeply troubling series of anonymous bomb threats made against Jewish Community Centers (JCCs), Jewish Day Schools, Synagogues and other buildings affiliated with Jewish organizations or institutions across the country.”
The letter, written by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), also noted “at least 98 incidents” of these bomb threats. The senators continued, “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.”
This rare moment of unity comes following several more bomb threats targeting JCC’s and several offices of the Anti-Defamation league on Tuesday. The number of threats is growing at an alarming rate.
In an effort to combat this, the senators have asked the Trump administration to aid these local institutions, writing “regarding victim assistance, grant opportunities or other federal assistance that may be available to enhance security measures and improve preparedness.”
Juan Thompson, a 31-year-old man from St. Louis, was arrested and charged for making at least eight different threats. However, the senators ensured that these threats are not isolated incidents, adding that this and all other types of anti-Semitism are “completely unacceptable and un-American.”
The senators closed with a praise of the administrations recent efforts, as well as asking that the Trump administration “inform us of the actions that your Departments plan to take to address threats against these and other religious institutions. We stand ready to work with you to ensure that these centers can continue to serve their communities free from violence and intimidation.”
The surprising and encouraging bipartisanship has received a large amount of endorsement for the letter from groups like are the American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Community Center Association of North America, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Orthodox Union, Jewish Federations of North America and Union for Reform Judaism.
Hopefully this will not be the last time we see all 100 senators on the same side.