The daughter of US President Donald Trump, Ivanka, posted a tweet on her personal account Monday that appeared to address the dozens of bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the US in recent weeks.
“America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC,” tweeted Trump, a convert to Judaism, who has played a prominent role in her father’s administration.
While her tweet included the JCC hashtag — an acrocymn of Jewish Community Center — it did not specifically mention or denounce the bomb threats or the specific targeting of Jewish centers, daycares and schools.
Her comments came hours after at least 10 Jewish community centers nationwide were reported to have received bomb threats — in the latest wave of such incidents.
America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) February 20, 2017
Earlier, the White House responded to a reporter’s query about the latest string of bomb threats called in to Jewish community centers by saying “these actions are unacceptable.”
“Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom,” reads a statement, attributed to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, that was shared Monday afternoon by NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander. “The President has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable.”
The statement did not specify that the threats targeted Jewish institutions, although it came in reply to a query about threats to JCCs.
Alexander posted Spicer’s response on Twitter, adding, “@PressSec responds to my request for comment about wave of threats to Jewish community centers.”
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) February 20, 2017
Trump and his daughter have been fiercely criticized in Jewish-American circles for not previously addressing the issue in recent weeks. Such threats have been documented to be on the rise since Trump came to power a month ago.
Last week, Trump was asked during a news conference about the prior JCC bomb threats and what the government’s response would be to “an uptick in anti-Semitism.” Although the reporter did not suggest Trump was anti-Semitic, the president answered by denying he is an anti-Semite and called the question “insulting.”
Shortly after, various Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, urged the White House to issue an unequivocal denunciation of the bomb threats and other anti-Semitic acts.
Earlier Monday, in a statement saying the latest bomb threats are “alarming, disruptive, and must always been taken seriously,” the ADL called on unnamed “political leaders” to condemn them.
“We look to our political leaders at all levels to speak out against such threats directed against Jewish institutions, to make it clear that such actions are unacceptable, and to pledge that they will work with law enforcement officials to ensure that those responsible will be apprehended and punished to the full extent of the law,” Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, said in the statement.
The JCC Association of North America said Monday that since Jan. 9 there have been 69 bomb threat incidents at 54 JCCs in 27 states and one Canadian province. All were hoaxes.
“Our centers have in place security protocols to ensure the safety of the program participants and facility visitors,” said David Posner, director of strategic performance at the JCC Association, in a statement. “All JCCs have now received the all-clear from local law enforcement and resumed regular operations, with a heightened level of security.”
Also Monday, vandals damaged more than 100 headstones at a St. Louis-area Jewish cemetery, Chesed Shel Emet, which has served the community since 1893.