Trump decries threats against Jewish centers

Trump spoke at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. after touring the latest Smithsonian building.

The remarks came a day after the JCC Association of North America reported that 54 Jewish community centers have faced 69 threats, including three waves of bomb threats, since January. The Jewish Community Center Association of North America says it has recorded almost 70 threats since the start of the year.

The FBI said it will team with the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department to investigate "possible civil rights violations in connection with threats" to the centers.

President Donald Trump is calling recent threats against Jewish community centres "horrible and painful".

Trump's administration released a statement following the threats, saying "hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom".

Controversy over the White House's handling of anti-Semitism included the fact that its statement marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day neglected to mention the Jewish people at all.




Trump berated the reporter for asking a "very insulting" question, appearing to believe he was accusing him personally of being anti-Semitic. The influential Jewish newspaper Forward published a February 16 op-ed that said Trump's "silence about anti-Semitism has been deeply disturbing".

Trump's serious address of the issue feels like a 180 degree turn from last week's press conference, where he snapped at and dismissed a Jewish reporter who asked about the rise of hate crimes.

Jake Turx, a correspondent for the Ami magazine, questioned the president regarding the recent rise in anti-Semitism at Thursday's press conference, citing a spate of bomb threats against Jewish institutions.

The BBC reports that last week, 27 Jewish community centres in at least 17 U.S. states received such hoax threats.

"His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Antisemitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record", Goldstein said in the statement. However, Trump did not address them directly at the time.

The Center also made a comment about how strong the recent administration was responsible for the "worst" form of anti-Semitism exhibited by any Presidential administration. "There's other political leadership in the country that can and must stand up, repudiate anti-Semitism and prevent it from becoming more mainstream".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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