JVP Statement on JCC attacks and Cemetery Desecration

This post was updated following further reports of bomb threats and cemetery desecration. 

February 27, 2017–We are saddened and horrified following more reports today of a fifth wave of bomb threats at Jewish community centers and schools, just after a second set of graves were desecrated at the Mt. Carmel Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia over the weekend. We join Jewish Voice for Peace – Philadelphia in calling on political leaders to go beyond mere condemnation by acknowledging the role that the new administration has played in fomenting intolerance and xenophobia across the country and demand that they take immediate steps to halt the spiral of hatred they have unleashed, whether it targets Jews, Muslims, immigrants, transgender individuals, or any other group.


February 21, 2017–Yesterday brought another round of bomb threats into JCCs across the country and the cowardly desecration of graves at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in St. Louis. These attacks stoke fear and alarm as white supremacists, emboldened by Trump, are given carte blanche to express their antisemitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia without reprimand by those in power. The fear provoked by these attacks and harassment is multiplied by Trump’s repeated refusals to forcefully condemn antisemitic acts.

It is up to all people of conscience to reject and resist such acts. For the time being, we clearly cannot expect moral leadership from our government. We must cultivate resilient, mutually supportive communities to protect and defend each other from all threats of violence, whether vigilante or the government policies of mass deportations, militarized borders, Islamophobia, and misogyny championed by the new administration.

Finally, we can take comfort in the leadership and friendship offered by other communities facing attacks right now. As just one example, the Center for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is offering a reward to help to find the people responsible for the bomb threats. We are infinitely stronger when we remember we are not alone. JVP likewise is committed to fighting antisemitism alongside fighting Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism, even more so as our community centers and sacred spaces come under attack.

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