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Addressing Rising Antisemitism: NYPD Responds to Bomb Threats

Amid ongoing unrest surrounding the conflict in the Middle East, the NYPD responded to a series of bomb threats over the weekend, underscoring the disturbing frequency of such incidents targeting places of worship.

Several bomb threats, including three directed at synagogues and one at the Brooklyn Museum, prompted investigations by law enforcement. These incidents contribute to a troubling trend of rising antisemitism, sparking important conversations about combating hate.

“I’ve spoken with numerous New Yorkers who now fear attending their places of worship due to concerns of being targeted,” noted Senator Charles Schumer.

In response to these threats, Schumer highlighted provisions in the latest appropriations bill, which allocate an additional $400 million for federal grants available to houses of worship. These funds can be utilized for security measures such as surveillance cameras and personnel, aiming to enhance safety in vulnerable communities.

“To enhance security measures at synagogues, churches, mosques, and other places of worship, there are now ample funds available,” stated Schumer.

Antisemitic incidents in the city have more than doubled since the onset of the conflict in Gaza compared to the same period the previous year.

Amid protests condemning Israel’s actions, New York Congressman Mike Lawlor introduced a bill aimed at defining antisemitism. While this proposal has garnered bipartisan support and passed in the House, it has also sparked controversy among First Amendment advocates.

“There’s a clear distinction between expressing disagreement with the policies of the Israeli government and advocating for the destruction of Israel and its people,” explained Rep. Josh Gottheimer.

If enacted, the legislation would enable the Education Department to utilize the defined criteria of antisemitism to withhold funding from academic institutions found to tolerate such behavior.

This weekend, protests persisted across college campuses, with some disruptions occurring even during graduation ceremonies. While one encampment was peacefully dismantled at the University of Southern California, authorities made numerous arrests at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Virginia as they intervened in encampments.

President Joe Biden condemned the actions, stating, “Vandalism, trespassing, property damage, and disruptions to campus activities, including the cancellation of classes and graduations, cannot be considered peaceful protest.”

Mayor Eric Adams emphasized the need for a measured response to escalating situations. “When protests escalate to violence, as the president noted, it becomes imperative to use the least amount of force necessary to address the perceived threat,” he stated.

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