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Democratic senators pan ‘anti-Palestinian hate’ after community center receives bomb threats

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

US Sen. Cory Booker, back, looks on as Sen. Bob Menendez speaks during a news conference at Newark Liberty International Airport to address the partial government shutdown on Jan. 8, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
US Sen. Cory Booker, back, looks on as Sen. Bob Menendez speaks during a news conference at Newark Liberty International Airport to address the partial government shutdown on Jan. 8, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Both of New Jersey’s Senators have issued statements condemning the recent bomb threats called in to a Palestinian community center in their state.

“Anti-Palestinian hate and Islamophobia have no place in our state, our nation—or anywhere. These violent and vile threats are unacceptable. We must all speak up and call out hate in all its forms,” tweets Sen. Cory Booker.

“There is no excuse or justification for threatening and terrorizing our Palestinian-American neighbors. Diversity & tolerance are quintessential NJ values, and such acts of hate must be universally condemned and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” says Sen. Robert Menendez.

On Tuesday, the Palestinian American Community Center in Clifton received roughly 30 calls by at least two individuals who threatened to bomb the site and physically and sexually assault staff members, Northjersey.com reports.

“Are you Palestinian? … so I know to come blow you up,” the suspect can be heard warning in one of the calls.

The suspect claimed the center was “a terrorist organization who blows buildings up and beheads people.”

Police placed a patrol car outside the center as a result and a complaint was filed with the FBI, according to Northjersey.com.

The community center has issued a statement calling for the incident “to be taken extremely seriously as a racially, politically, and gender-based motivated hate crime.”

“The staff is shaken but empowered by community; like our people in Palestine, we are not going anywhere.”

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