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February 10, 2017
 

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 10, 2017 Boris Epshteyn (JTA)--The White House statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day that has generated con- troversy for omitting Jews reportedly was written by a Jewish aide to President Donald Trump. Boris Epshteyn, a special assistant to the president, crafted the statement, the po- litical news website Politico reported Monday evening, citing an unnamed source "with knowledge of the situ- ation." Epshteyn, a former Re- publican political strategist, immigrated to the United States from his native Moscow in 1993 at 11. On Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at the daily briefing, "The statement was written with the help of an individual who is both Jewish and the descendant of Holo- caust survivors." Asked if it was Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and a leading adviser, Spicer refused to say. Spicer also said that com- plaints, including from major U.S. Jewish groups, about the omission of Jews from the statement issued last Friday were "pathetic" and "disap- pointing." "The president went out of his way to recognize the Holocaust and the suffering that went through it, and to make sure America never forgets the people that were affected by it and the loss of life," Spicer said. "To suggest that remem- bering the Holocaust and acknowledging all of the people--Jewish, gypsies, JEWISH House and home, real estate, travel, food and din- in g, cars, fashion, jewelry, Judaica, entertainment, books, sports, games, music, art, crafts, hobbies and leisure, clubs and organizations, volunteering. Advertising Deadline: February 15, 2017 For More Information, Call: 407-834-8787 priests, disabled, gays and lesbians--I mean it is pathetic that people are picking on a statement," he said. Since the United Nations launched the remembrance day in 2005, marking the anniversary of the libera- tion of Auschwitz in 1945, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have noted in their statements that the principal aim of the By Ben Sales NEW YORK (JTA)--A per- son calls a Jewish institution, makes a bomb threat and hangs up. The call lasts no more than a minute, the caller's voice is disguised and the call is made to look as if it came from inside the building. How do you catch the culprit? That's the question the FBI is facing in investigating the 65 bomb threats that have hit JCCs and Jewish federations in three waves throughout January. The latest string of threats, targeting 17 JCCs across the country, occurred Tuesday. The firstwaves across the country came on Jan. 9 and 18. The Maitland JCC and Chabad of South Orlandowere called Jan. 4 and 5, as well as JCCs in Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami. Paul Goldenberg, director of the Secure Community Network, which advises Jew- ish groups and institutions on security, said even if the caller is one person in a room some- where, technological advances have made identifying the per- petrator much more difficult. "They're sophisticated enough to leverage technol- ogy on their behalf," he said. "They're using a machine that masks their voice. They're us- ing a technology that allows them to look like they're call- ing from the inside." None of the threats ap- peared to be credible, and JCCs largely were able to evacuate and resume business as usual. But security experts, includ- ing former FBI agents, said that the bureau would still take the threats seriously. "It's a hate crime, and WASHINGTON, DC--U.S Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the Subcommit- tee on the Middle East and NorthAfrica, made the follow- ing statement after introduc- ing H.R. 762, the Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act of 2017, alongside Reps. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and John Garamendi (D-CA). Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a companion bill in the Senate. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen: "Just days ago, on In- ternational Holocaust Re- membrance Day, the world commemorated the millions Holocaust was the genocide of the Jews. Jewish critics have said that omitting Jews from Holocaust commemoration statements, wittingly or not, plays into the agenda of groups that seek to diminish the Nazi genocide of the Jews. Since the controversy erupted, Trump administra- tion spokesmen, including his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, they'll throw all the resources they can at it," said Jim Hart- nett, a former FBI supervisor who now serves as director of security for the Jewish Federa- tion of Cleveland. "They have the technology. It may take some analysis and some re- sources. They'll be successful in pursuing and identifying the individual or individuals that are behind this." Now the FBI has to figure out how to get there by over- coming the technological disguises adopted by callers. Brenda Moxley, former assis- tant special agent in charge of the FBI's criminal branch in Miami, said that investigat- ing phone calls used to mean tracing a landline, a relatively simple procedure in compari- son to the present. A Jan. 18 call made to a Jewish institution obtained by JTA used a voice disguise and lasted one minute. The caller said the bomb was placed in- side a bag, threatened to kill Jews and hung up. "If you compare this to things that would have hap- pened years ago, technology has changed," said Moxley, who now serves as director of community security for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. "Technology has advanced in ways that make it hard for law enforcement to keep up with." The FBI won't comment on ongoing investigations, but spokeswoman Samantha Shero told JTA that the in- vestigation would start with agents speaking to the people who received the calls, then pooling information among states. Retired FBI supervisor Paul Vecchi told JTA that the key to such investigations is of Jews and other innocent victims who were systemati- cally murdered at the hands of the Nazi regime. Yet, in- credibly, more than 72 years later, Holocaust survivors and their heirs are still being denied justice from those that benefited from their suffering. We cannot sit idly by and allow these survivors to continue to be victimized and denied their day in court That is why I am pleased to once again be joined by Brad and John in reintro- ducing this bill thatwill finally allow survivors the ability to bring their cases before the U.S. court system and seek have doubled down on the argument that it is better not to single out Jews in order to be "inclusive." A New York-based invest- ment banker and finance attorney, Epshteyn was a communications aide for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008, focusing his efforts on the Arizona senator's running mate, then- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. getting as many details about the call as soon as possible. It's incumbent on the person who took the call, Vecchi said, to record as much as they can. Agents can then analyze the caller's word choice, tone and any background noise, such as sounds from a kitchen or a city street. These steps help, he said, even if the origin and voice of the caller is unknown. If agents can associate the caller with a militant group or network of criminals, they may be able to fill in the pieces. "It's all about the behav- ioral analysis and determin- ing what we call a behavioral sign--behavior that can be actually attached to a person or group in order to do what we have to get somewhat of a characteristic of the bomber," said Vecchi, who is now an as- sistant professor of criminal justice at Missouri Western State University. "Someone who doesn't spea~k English as a first language will say things that are not quite right English-wise." Goldenberg said he's opti- mistic the person or people who made the threats will be caught. But the FBI is still investigating bomb threats to Jewish institutions in two Florida cities a year ago. The statute of limitations on bomb threats is five years. Even if there are no leads, it doesn't mean agents will abandon the search. The case will reopen, Vecchi said, as soon as a new bomb threat comes in. "If it's just basically a guy calling, that's documented in the files and it's in the system," he said. "Then, when the next one comes in, the investiga- tion stays open." redress from the insurance companies that continue to shirk their moral and legal responsibilities. NOTE: Following World War II, Holocaust survivors and the heirs of victims filed claims on policies with their insurance companies. In many cases, the insurance companies rejected these claims due to the absence of death certificates and policy documents, which were often confiscated by Nazi authori- ties, leaving the insurance companies themselves with the only proof of the existence of insurance policies.