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March 10, 2017

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 10, 2017 r9 F, van Bernstein, the Anti- Defamation League's New York Regional director. By Ben Sales NEWYORK (JTA)--Thank- ing the FBI and police for the arrest of Juan Thompson, who allegedly made eight bomb threats to Jewish institutions, the Anti-Defamation League called the current wave of anti-Semitic acts "unprec- edented." "Law enforcement at all levels is a close friend to the Jewish people in America," Evan Bernstein, ADL's New York regional director, said at a news conference Friday. "Just because there's been an arrest today around our bomb threats does not mean that the threats have disappeared or will stop." Earlier in the day, sources told the media that Thomp- son was a "copycat" and that the investigation continued into finding the hoaxers behind the dozens of other bomb threats reported since January. The news conference was convened after law enforce- ment announced Friday that Thompson had been charged in connection with the deluge of bomb threats received this year by Jewish institutions. Thompson, 31, of St. Louis, allegedly made bomb threats to JCCs, Jewish schools and an ADL office as part of his cyberstalking of a former romantic partner. The ADL and several other Jewish groups had met Friday with FBI Director James Com- ey. According to a statement from the groups in atten- dance, which were not listed but included the ADL, the Jewish Federations of North America and the JCC As- sociation of North America, the meeting concerned recent anti-Semitic acts and collabo- ration between Jewish institu- tions and law enforcement. "All the organizations in attendance expressed the deep gratitude of the entire community for the extraor- dinary effort that the FBI is applying to the ongoing investigation," the statement said. "The representatives of the Jewish community left with the highest confidence that the FBI is taking every possible measure to resolve the matter as quickly as possible." According to statistics com- piled by the New York Police Department, anti-Semitic acts have nearly doubled in early 2017 as compared to one year earlier. The ADL said that due to the reach of the Internet and the quan- tity of recent bomb threats, white supremacists are more emboldened than ever. "We're in unprecedented times," said Oren Segal, director of the ADL's Center on Extremism. "We've never seen, ever, the volume of bomb threats thatwe've seen. White supremacists in this country feel more emboldened than they ever have before because of the public discourse and divisive rhetoric." In total, more than 100 Jewish institutions, mostly JCCs, have received bomb threats since the beginning of the year. The last two weeks saw vandalism at Jewish cem- eteries in Philadelphia, St. Louis and Rochester, New York, as well as two more waves of bomb threats called into JCCs, schools and insti- tutions across the country, representing the fourth and fifth waves of such harass- ment this year. No explosive device was found after any of the calls. The ADL called on Presi- dent Donald Trump to take action against anti-Semitism, including by directing the Department of Justice to launch a civil rights investiga- tion into the threats, and by creating a federal interagency task force on combating hate crimes chaired by the attorney general. "We need action to stop these threats," Bernstein said. "History shows that when anti-Semitism gains the upper hand, courageous leaders need to speak out and take action before it's too late." Segal said the ADL has been tracking Thompson, a disgraced former journalist, since he fabricated the iden- tity of a cousin of Dylann Roof, the gunmanwho killed nine at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. On its Twitter feed Friday, the ADL posted information gleaned from the U.S. Attor- ney's complaint and media portraying Thompson as a for- mer journalist--he was fired from his job atthe online news site The Intercept for invent- ing quotes and sources--who had recently "became more hostile to whites in general." According to the ADL, he has posted inflamma- tory tweets aboutwhite police officers and the "white New York liberal media." 9 P Nashville, Tennessee-- PJTN has launched a na- tional campaign to define and outlaw anti-Semitism, in light of the recent wave of threats and attacks against American Jewish institu- tions. The "Anti-Semitism Awareness Act" will fortify the U.S. State Department's definition of anti-Semitism into law, including the de- monization, delegitimiza- tion and double standards applied to Israel, declaring them as a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. This new legal campaign comes after PJTN watchmen nationwide encouraged the passing of state legislation in ten states condemning the anti-Semitic boycott Israel movement. The aim is to have the "Anti-Semitism Awareness Act" written into binding law in all fifty states empowering local governments to crush this deplorable pandemic. Bomb threats forced evac- uations at Jewish schools and community centers in 11 states Monday, with the Jewish Community Cen- ter Association confirming threats in states ranging from Florida to Michigan. Over the past decade, there has been a resurgence of anti- Semitic attacks and incidents on college, universities and secondary school campuses in Tennessee. At least five universities and two second- ary school campuses have had reports of anti-Semitic incidents. In response, State Senator and chairman of the Sen- ate Education Committee, Dolores Gresham, as well as State House Representative Judd Matheny, decided it was time to adopt the U.S. State Department's definition of anti-Semitism to ensure this activity stops. This action will put the administrations of these universities on notice that if they fail to reign in these unlawful acts, they will lose federal funding and risk a lawsuit from private individuals. In 2015, in an effort to con- front this growing problem head-on, PJTN encouraged the Tennessee General As- sembly to overwhelmingly pass legislation to expose the anti-Semitic BDS Movement peddled by organizations like Students For Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Students Associa- tion (MSA) on Tennessee campuses that call for the boycott and dismantling of the Jewish State. With the assistance of thousands of PJTN Watchmen across the country, ten additional states have now passed similar I I E',mry day that y~'re o~P~de, you're exposed to danltereus, but invisible, ultraviolet (UV) ,~nligllL Left unprotected, prolonged expire to ~ radiaifug can serio~y damage the eye, leading to cataracts, sldn cancer around the eyelid and other eye dicacd~s. Protecting yeur eyes is important to maintaining eye health now and in the future. Sliuld four IOla (ud Inr Inmily'8 I,gOI) from liirnlll UV rlyt. Vlgr = willl ,,-,inluu UV lifltl~oi. i ;i~i! VISlON:: ::~ .~'.:: L legislation with many more in the pipeline. However, despite legis- lation that was passed to condemn these deplorable ac- tivities, recent media reports have indicated that vile anti- Semitic hate crimes continue to increase on Tennessee campuses and throughout the country. Members of organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim Stu- dents Association on Tennes- see campuses have taken to social media to congratulate the recent wave of Palestin- ian terrorism in Israel, in addition to peddling age-old anti-Semitic conspiracies against Jews. PJTN believes that organizations like SJP and MSA should be closely monitored by authorities. These groups have often used violent attacks and intimida- tion tactics to push Jewish and Christian-Zionists into submission, thus silencing them and diminishing their right to a safe and secure educational environment. Last fall, PJTN President, Laurie Cardoza-Moore, called on the State Legislature to conduct hearings into whether these unaccept- able activities on Tennessee public university campuses are in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Ms. Cardoza-Moore met with Senator Gresham and Rep- resentative Matheny to brief them on this growing threat. Senator Gresham stated, "On the heals of the passage of Tennessee's landmark reso- lution condemning the BDS movement and groups like SJP and MSA, we will not al- low anti-Semitism to flourish in our educational system. Whether it is our secondary schools, or schools of higher learning, the Constitutional rights of all students will be protected in providing a safe environment for our children to excel. No individual will be denied that right." Rep. Judd Matheny has expressed concern that administra- tors, like Chancellor Cheek of UT - Knoxville, were not taking the threats on their campus seriously and fail- ing to strongly condemn the anti-Semitic activity of these groups. In 2012, in an effort to con- front the growing anti-Sem- itism in secondary schools, Cardoza-Moore launched a campaign to remove a Pearson Human Geography textbook that contained an anti-Semitic quote from aWil- liamson County School. The quote legitimized Palestinian homicide bombers blowing themselves up in a Jerusalem restaurant because they were waging a war against Israeli government policies and army actions. Cardoza-Moore com- mented: "Is the growing anti-Semitism in Tennessee's education system due to the indoctrination of our chil- dren in our textbooks? The reality is, we cannot afford to wait until anti-Semitic hate and incitement spills over into anti-Semitic violence and bloodshed on American university campuses. No student should be made to feel intimidated or unwelcome on our campuses. The Volunteer State has always led the way in the fight against hate and bigotry, now is the time to uphold state legislation against the anti-Semitic BDS Movement and confront this hatred head-on." Headstones were toppled at the Waad Hakolel Cemetery, also known as the Stone Road Cemetery, in Rochester, N.Y. NEW YORK (JTA)--A Jew- ish cemetery in Rochester, New York, was vandalized, the third such incident in the United States in less than two weeks. Five headstones were found toppled Thursday morning at the Waad Hakolel Cemetery, also known as the Stone Road Cemetery, in the city in west- ern New York, according to News 10 NBC WHEC. The president of the non- profit managing the cemetery said he did not want to call the incident a hate crime or anti-Semitism. "I don't want to label it a hate crime. I don't think there's any proof of that. I don't want to label it anti-Semitism. I don't think there's any proof of that," said Michael Phillips, president of the Britton Road Association, according to The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Police were awaiting notice from the cemetery before commencing an investiga- tion, News 10 NBC WHEC reported. The last two weeks saw vandalism at Jewish cemeter- ies in Philadelphia and St. Louis, as well as two more waves of bomb threats called into Jewish community centers, schools and insti- tutions across the country, representing the fourth and fifth waves of such harass- ment this year.