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After ugly protests, US Jewish groups urged to heighten security

After anti-Israel attacks around the globe turn violent and anti-Semitic in some cases, the ADL releases a security advisory for US synagogues and Jewish institutions, urging them to increase security measures.

“The warning is in response to the violence and anti-Semitic expressions that we have seen at some of these demonstrations,” ADL spokesman Todd Gutnick told The Times of Israel on Monday.

“The tenor of some of these demonstrations has been extreme, with protesters chanting, ‘Death to Israel’ and other hateful messages and slogans,” he added.

Pro-Israel rally in Los Angeles is disturbed by Palestinian activists July 13, 2014. (Kelly Hartog/The Times of Israel)
Pro-Israel rally in Los Angeles is disturbed by Palestinian activists July 13, 2014. (Kelly Hartog/The Times of Israel)

Two synagogues and a kosher market were attacked during a Sunday demonstration in Paris protesting Israel’s operation in Gaza. Two days before, a synagogue outside of Paris had a Molotov cocktail thrown at it.

Four pro-Palestinian protesters brandishing wooden sticks threatened people attending a rally in Los Angeles supporting Israel. There were calls of “death to Jews” at other rallies around the globe.

On Monday, top Department of Homeland Security officials spoke with Jewish leaders concerned about violence at rallies and demonstrations connected to the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Speakers on the conference call, organized by the Secure Community Network, the security arm of national Jewish umbrella organizations, included DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Infrastructure Protection William Flynn.

There were 200 Jewish officials on the call, SCN said.

“While the majority of protests have been peaceful, pro-Israeli demonstrators in Boston and Los Angeles were physically assaulted by anti-Israeli protesters this past week, and synagogues in Paris have been attacked by violent protesters,” the statement said.

“SCN discussed the security implications of operations in Gaza on Jewish communities both domestically and worldwide, and reviewed security protocols for planned rallies and demonstrations in support of Israel,” it said.

JTA contributed to this report

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