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Trump responds to attacks on Jews after criticism

President Trump speaks at the Smithsonian African American History and Culture Museum Feb. 21, 2017

After being criticized for not responding to attacks on Jews nationwide, President Trump on Tuesday morning addressed the recent wave of threatening phone calls to Jewish Community Centers.

“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” he said in remarks at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Trump, NPR reported, said his tour of the museum “was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.”

The president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, who is Jewish, commented on the attacks on Twitter, writing: “America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC.”

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The Jewish Community Center Association of North America said in a statement that 11 Jewish community centers received phoned-in bomb threats on Monday. The organization said it follows three waves of bomb threats in January – Jan. 9, Jan. 18 and Jan. 31 – resulting in 69 incidents at 54 Jewish Community Centers in 27 states and one Canadian province.

The organization said all of the bomb threats have proven to be hoaxes, and all JCCs impacted have returned to regular operations.

The source of the hoax calls is under investigation.

In an interview that took place early Tuesday morning before Trump’s remarks, CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked former Republican senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum why Trump had not condemned anti-Semitic attacks.

Santorum said he didn’t know but believes Muslims are carrying out many of them.

“I hate to say it, a lot of it is coming from the pro-Palestinian or Muslim community,” Santorum said. “So let’s lay out that fact.”

Cuomo disagreed, interjecting, “You have white haters, historically, who target the Jews in this country.”

Santorum replied: “That’s not what’s going on on college campuses, Chris, white haters.”

Cuomo’s other guest in the segment noted, however, the subject is the threats to Jewish Community Centers and cemeteries.

Anti-Semitic groups

At least 550 of the 917 hate groups listed in a report released last Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center subscribe to anti-Semitic views, according to SPLC.

On Tuesday, St. Louis Public Radio reported a century-old Jewish cemetery in Missouri was vandalized.

Campus police at the University of Minnesota are investigating at least seven reported incidents of anti-Semitic incidents, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

On Friday, several fliers were found across campus promoting the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer.

Marked with two swastikas, it reads: “White man are you sick and tired of the Jews destroying your country through mass immigration and degeneration … join us in the struggle for global white supremacy at the Daily Stormer.”

Haley targets U.N. ‘anti-Israel bias’

Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley criticized the global body’s “anti-Israel bias,” denouncing the U.N. Security Council for denouncing the Jewish state while ignoring security threats in the Middle East, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

“It is the U.N.’s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change,” Haley said Thursday after her first Security Council meeting.

Haley described the meeting as “a bit strange,” the Free Beacon reported, explaining it focused on Israel rather than on issues such as Iran’s funding terrorists and how to defeat ISIS.

She said the United States “is determined to stand up to the U.N.’s anti-Israel bias.”

“The double standards are breathtaking,” Haley said.

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