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Copyright © 2017 Israel News Agency All rights reserved.

Hartford Interfaith Rally Against Racism

By Israel News Agency Staff

Hartford, CT — August 20, 2017 … “The Ku Klux Klan, White Supremacists, and Neo Nazi’s should be a thing of the past,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal. This gathering was the latest showing of anti-hate rallies taking place in response to Charlottesville across the United States.

Joel Leyden, who runs “Jews Against Hate”, created a change.org petition at StopNeoNazis.com. If enough people sign it, a petition will be sent to Congress asking them to designate Neo-Nazis and the Alt-Right as terror organizations.

“We have a very real threat facing America and that evil threat is hate,” said Joel Leyden of the Interfaith Coalition Against Racism.

To combat that fear Joel Leyden joined forces with Zahir Mannan, of the Baitul Aman “House of Peace” Mosque.

About a month ago, they met as both surveyed a Jewish cemetery which had been vandalized in Hartford. That’s when the idea of a new group was born.

The Interfaith Coalition Against Racism brings together people of various religions with a mission of promoting tolerance over hate. It’s an ideal that seemed more urgent after the deadly violence in Virginia last weekend.

“There are a lot of things that we as a humane, civilized society can do in terms of standing up against real threats,” Leyden said.

“This is not against a particular person or really any group but it’s against injustice and hatred in general,” Mannan said.

The Interfaith Rally Against Racism took place at the Connecticut State Capitol Sunday.

US Republicans, Democrats Express Support for Netanyahu, Israel

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency                                                           

Jerusalem, Israel — August 10, 2017 … Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met today at his Jerusalem office with a delegation of US Republican Members of Congress led by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

On Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu met with a US Democratic Congressional delegation led by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer.

A leading Democratic congressman told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday that support in the U.S. House of Representatives for legislation strengthening Israel’s security is “overwhelmingly bipartisan.”

Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House Minority Whip, told reporters that there was no lingering bitterness among Democrats towards Israel over Netanyahu’s congressional speech against the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Hoyer asserted that “all of us together support Israel,” whether or not they agreed with the speech. He explained that he objected to the nature of the invitation to Netanyahu, which was not done in a bipartisan fashion, and not Netanyahu’s decision to speak.

“I thought he spoke very well. I stood and clapped for things I supported, as others did,” Hoyer said of Netanyahu’s speech. “But the essence is not personalities. Democrats are very supportive of Israel and that is our focus and continues to be our focus.”

When asked about Democratic support for Israel, Hoyer responded that no Democrats opposed a recently passed bill that imposed new sanctions on Iran, and that “the parties are very united, and the fact is that the parties are speaking with one voice.”

While Democrats and Republicans are divided over many issues, Hoyer noted, “when you have votes regarding Israel’s well-being and safety, they are overwhelmingly bipartisan.”

Hoyer, who is leading a group of Democratic congressmen on his 15th visit to Israel, said that he and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R – Calif.), who is leading a Republican delegation, will get together to demonstrate the bipartisan nature of American support for Israel. Both delegations to Israel are sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, which is affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Hoyer and the Democratic group met with Netanyahu on Monday, while the Republican group is scheduled to meet the prime minister on Wednesday.

“We have made a point to make sure we have an overlapping time here in Israel together, Republicans and Democrats. Because this is not a partisan issue. This is a bipartisan issue,” McCarthy said.

“Some of us are Democrats and some of us are Republicans. But we’re not here as Republicans and Democrats. We’re here as Americans who support Israel’s security, its sovereignty and the safety of its people,” Hoyer said before approximately 50 members of Congress.

“We’re here because the United States and Israel are partners for peace and partners for security.”

 

Yad Vashem To Sign Holocaust Educational Agreement With Serbia

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency

July 31, 2017 — Jerusalem, Israel … Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education from Serbia today, codifying the working relationship that Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, shares with the Serbian government.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Assistant Minister of Education Dr. Aleksandar Pajic as well as Serbian educators participating in a seminar at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies.

Over many years, Serbian teachers have participated in some of the hundreds of annual international workshops and educational seminars Yad Vashem has conducted for teachers and community leaders from all over the world.

Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies is known the world over for its unique approach towards Holocaust education.

“Our pedagogical approach is respected as one of the best methodologies to deal with this most sensitive topic,” says Lily Safra Chair for Holocaust Studies and Director of Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies Dr. Eyal Kaminka, who signed the agreement on behalf of Yad Vashem.

“We have governmental partnerships with more than 50 countries around the world and are thrilled to officially add Serbia to this prestigious group.”

Prior to this agreement, those educators from Serbia who participated in seminars at Yad Vashem did so in an unofficial capacity. Now Serbian teachers will receive full accreditation for their participation and the number of seminars offered to them is set to increase.

Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies serves as a hub for Holocaust education, attracting students and educators from across the globe. Each year, the International School engages with some 300,000 students, as well as thousands of educators, community leaders, and decision-makers from around the world. Guided by its unique pedagogical philosophy, the International School has developed and perfected innovative educational materials, teaching tools and teacher-training activities in order to develop programs suitable for diverse age groups and cultures.

Islamic Terrorists Murder 2 Policemen in Jerusalem – Palestinians Demand No Security on Temple Mount


Israeli Police Master Sgt. Haiel Sitawe, who was murdered
Friday in Jerusalem, is pictured with his newborn son, Ramos.

By Joel Leyden 
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — July 16, 2017 … Three Islamic terrorists assassinated two Israeli border policeman at the entrance of Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli police Master Sgt. Haiel Sitawe is seen above cradling his 3-week-old son, Ramos.

Sitawe, 30, of the Druze town of Maghar in northern Israel, also is survived by his wife, Irin, his parents and three brothers.

He served in the Israel Border Police (MAGAV) as part of his mandatory military service and joined the Israeli police force in 2012, serving in the unit responsible for securing Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. His mission was to provide security to people of all religions to pray freely in Jerusalem.

The other police officer who was murdered was 22-year-old Kamil Shnaan, from the Druze village of Hurfeish, also in northern Israel.

Shnaan, who joined the police right after high school, decided to stay on the force seven months ago, signing on as a career officer.

He was the youngest son of former Israeli Labor Party Knesset member Shachiv Shnaan.

The officer’s engagement party to his girlfriend was to be held next week.

Security camera footage showed the Islamic terrorists, armed with automatic weapons and knives, emerging to attack from within the sacred compound in the Old City of Jerusalem that Jews revere as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. Police officers pursued the terrorists, who fled back inside the compound and exchanged fire; all three terrorists were killed.

Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security service, identified the terrorists as residents of Umm el-Fahm, a large Arab town in central Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks before leaving for Paris and Budapest:

“Before the onset of Shabbat [Friday, 14 July 2017], I spoke with the parents of our two heroic policemen who were murdered on the Temple Mount. I sent them a hug from every citizen of Israel and participation in their awful grief. Also before Shabbat I directed that the mourners’ tents of the families of the contemptible murderers be destroyed. This evening I held a discussion with the top security leadership and I instructed that metal detectors be placed at the entrance gates to the Temple Mount.”

Netanyahu continued: “We will also install security cameras on poles outside the Temple Mount but which give almost complete control over what goes on there. I decided that as of tomorrow, in the framework of our policy of maintaining the status-quo, we will gradually open the Temple Mount, but with increased security measures.”

“This was a tough morning for the police. We have two people killed, officers, who paid the dearest price in this battle,” Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich said.

Israeli officials offered support for the Druze religious sect community of Israel.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement that the “Jewish people have an eternal bond with our brothers, the Druze.”

Netanyahu and Israeli security organizations decided to open the Temple Mount to worshippers, visitors and tourists on Sunday, but Palestinians demanded that they would not be subject to security checks. Israeli border police arrested those who were inciting riots near the Old City. The weapons which were used to murder the two Israeli policemen on Friday had been smuggled into the Temple Mount while there were no metal detectors.

Former Israel Defense Forces Gen. Noam Tibon wrote in a tweet that he “salutes Druze soldiers,” having seen their “great contribution to the defense of Israel during my long years in the IDF.

“I embrace the Shnaan and Sitawe families on the loss of their sons,” he added.

Israeli police opened Jerusalem’s gates to allow Islamic worshippers to enter through the newly erected metal detectors. Police said some worshippers refused to go through them and knelt to pray outside instead. But despite concerns that the new measures could slow movement and spark tensions, police said they appeared to be working fine and that 200 people had already passed through.

“We cannot allow for agents of murder, who desecrate the name of God, to drag us into a bloody war, and we will deal with a heavy hand against all the arms of terror, and its perpetrators,” said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

“The state of Israel will defend its sovereignty and its citizens with a strong hand, and will not allow anyone to provoke the region into a bloody war.”

Israel: UNESCO Labeling Israel “occupying power” in Jerusalem – Pathetic

By Israel News Agency Staff

Jerusalem, Israel — July 5, 2017 … The Israeli government has responded to UNESCO’s latest resolution:

“This is another absurd and irrelevant UNESCO decision, which serves only the enemies of history and truth.

Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, and no UNESCO resolution will change this reality. The decision is sad, unnecessary and pathetic. It should be noted that the resolution did not even achieve a majority of the votes.”

The UNESCO decision is an overt attack on Judaism and Christianity. If the Jews did not establish and rule Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – then Christ never existed.

“The number of countries who support this absurd UNESCO resolution is getting smaller,” said Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“It’s a significant shift from the passage of UNESCO Jerusalem resolutions last year, with 33 nations approving a controversial anti-Israel text in April and 24 voting for it in October.”

“With a determined effort, it will be possible to whittle that number down further, “because there is no need for these types of votes in the UN,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu said there was no nation in the world to whom Jerusalem was more holy than to the Jewish people.

Throughout Jewish history, he added, Jerusalem was “the heart of the people, the place to which everyone turned to, went to and prayed toward.”

 

The US has come out swinging against UNESCO’s lies and distortions.

“The United Nations should oppose the Palestinian Authority request to inscribe Hebron’s old city and the Tomb of the Patriarchs on the World Heritage in Danger list,” said US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley

“The Tomb of the Patriarchs, which is sacred to three faiths, is under no immediate threat. Such a designation risks undermining the seriousness such an assessment by UNESCO should have,” Haley said.

She issued the statement in a letter she addressed both to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon: “Nothing is more disgraceful than UNESCO declaring the world’s only Jewish state the ‘occupier’ of the Western Wall and Jerusalem’s Old City.

Yesterday, I toured the City of David and the Old City with UN ambassadors from around the world and explained the deep and ancient connection between the Jewish people and the holiest sites of our nation. No faux ‘heritage committee’ can sever the bonds between our people and Jerusalem,” Danon said.

Israel’s Mossad Creates Fund To Attract Hi-Tech Gurus

By Nancy Namer
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — June 27, 2017 … Mossad, are we really mentioning that word?

Following David Ben-Gurion’s specific instructions, it was once forbidden to even mention the names of the Mossad and the Shin Bet. Today, Israel’s intelligence agencies have no choice but to do what a decade ago was considered unthinkable: a highly-publicized recruitment campaign in their name – full of color, voices, and gimmicks—in an effort to emphasize the advantages only Israel’s domestic Shin Bet and international intelligence organization Mossad can offer—a sense of purpose, membership to a small and intimate family of secret keepers and plenty of action.

The Mossad has pulled out all of it’s marketing and branding power to recruit the best and most creative minds to create and enhance their use of cyber and hi-tech. The Mossad is not only inviting the best of the best to join their ranks, they are now making it highly profitable.

Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, at the launch event for the Mossad Libertad Fund, made the following remarks:

“The Mossad fund for technology and innovation, Libertad, will find its place between the covert Mossad and the open world of technology.”

Cohen continued: “Through Libertad we want to connect to you – market leaders, entrepreneurs, companies, industries and research institutes. Libertad will provide the Mossad with a strong, direct and productive link with technological brain trusts and leading pioneers here in Israel in designing tomorrow. We have established the fund to support freedom of operation by visionary entrepreneurs who are working to realize their dream and will enable us to use their developments in implementing our national mission.”

Cohen concluded: “The Mossad will do its part by financing research and development and, in exchange, will receive technology for its needs. I am proud of the Mossad’s innovation.”

 

Copyright © 2017 Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency All rights reserved

 

Israel Exposes Hezbollah Lebanon Bases, Demands UN Take Action

Hezbollah observation posts on Lebanon border.

By Israel News Agency Staff

New York, New York — June 23, 2017 … Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon has presented a letter to the President of the UN Security Council H.E. Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz and to the UN Secretary General, demanding a strong and appropriate response to Hezbollah’s ongoing military buildup using the cover of civilian activities in southern Lebanon, in clear violation of UNSC resolutions 1701 and 1559.

“Excellency,

I am writing to alert you once again of the dangerous and destabilizing actions of the Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, in our region.”

“Hezbollah, an internationally designated terrorist organization, continues to unabatedly strengthen its military infrastructure in the villages of southern Lebanon, in clear violation of Security Council resolutions 1701 and 1559. Evidence of Hezbollah’s unremitting violations mounts by the day and cannot be overlooked.”

“The international community cannot continue to turn a blind eye to Hezbollah’s flagrant violations of UNSC resolutions 1701 and 1559.”

“Over the past few months, Hezbollah established observation posts near the Blue Line, mainly in the western section of the region (see attached in appendices 1-2 exact coordinates of the posts and a picture of a post).”

“These posts were erected under the guise of an agricultural NGO known as “Green Without Borders,” the activities of which are defined and at times funded by Hezbollah.

The well-documented proof of Hezbollah’s dangerous provocation verifies that Hezbollah conducts reconnaissance activity near the Blue Line and disguises it as civilian activity, in clear violation of UNSC resolutions 1701 and 1559.”

“Last April, a United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) patrol was denied access by a group of locals to an observation post flying the “Green Without Borders” flag.”

“Such obstructions to UNIFIL’s operations in the area are unacceptable. These impediments prevent UNIFIL from fully executing its mandate to monitor the implementation of UNSC resolutions and maintain stability in the area.

Hezbollah’s continued military buildup and destabilizing activities in southern Lebanon have serious repercussions on both regional stability and the ability of the Lebanese government to effectively control its country.”

“The United Nations, the international community cannot continue to turn a blind eye to Hezbollah’s flagrant violations of UNSC resolutions 1701 and 1559.”

“I call on the UN Security Council to demand that the government of Lebanon dismantle these observation posts immediately, and prevent any future activity of Hezbollah and its affiliates in southern Lebanon, particularly near the Blue Line. It is imperative that the council sends a strong message to the Government of Lebanon and demand that it fully implement UNSC resolutions 1701 and 1559, not only in words, but in clear and concrete actions.”

I should be grateful if you would have this letter distributed as an official document of the Security Council. I wish to inform you that an identical letter has been sent to H.E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurance of my highest consideration.

Sincerely,
Danny Danon
Ambassador
Permanent Representative”

Hezbollah, also known as The Party of God, is an international Shi’a Muslim terrorist group fighting against Israel and “western imperialism” in Lebanon. The Iranian backed group does not recognize the legitimacy of the State of Israel and it has been labeled as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) by the U.S. State Department since October 1997.

The US Department of Justice recently announced the arrest of two Hezbollah men, one in New York and another in Michigan, for allegedly plotting attacks in New York and the U.S. and Israeli embassies in Panama.

Netanyahu: Natural Alliance of Democracies – Israel, Greece, Cyprus


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Mayor of Thessaloniki Yannis Boutaris and the president of the Jewish community in Thessaloniki David Saltiel attend the presentation of a memorial plaque at the Museum of the Holocaust in Thessaloniki
(AFP PHOTO)

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — June 16, 2017 … Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, visited a Thessaloniki synagogue in Greece together with Jewish community President David Shaltiel, Thessaloniki Rabbi Yisrael Aharon, Mayor Yiannis Boutaris and Jewish community leaders.

Prime Minister Netanyahu made the following remarks:

“My wife and I are delighted to be here, along with our ministers of the Israeli government and our entire delegation. We bring you greetings from Jerusalem.

Shalom m’Yerushalayim.

This is very moving to be here in this architectural gem, but more than being a beautiful building, it’s evocative of the great history and the great tragedy that befell the Jews of Greece.

I have to say that I’m a historian’s son, so I know a little about the history of the Jews of Greece, and when you think about it, the history of the Greek-Jewish community, and specifically that history anchored in Thessaloniki, withstood three of the greatest tragedies that befell our people. First, the destruction of the Temple by the Romans. This community absorbed Jews who left Judea. And second, the Great Expulsion from Spain. This community absorbed Jews who were expelled from Spain. And third, and the greatest destruction of all, is of course the Nazi Holocaust.”

Netanyahu continued: “The fire in 1917 destroyed buildings and burned buildings; the Nazi fire burned people, and 97 percent were destroyed. Three percent survived. These survivors, many of them, now live in Israel, and I have to say that they have a love and a remembrance of Thessaloniki that is unmatched. They speak about it, they write about it, they – in many ways they remember it as a great center of culture, but also as a personal memory that is exemplified by one of the survivors who – Moshe Ha-Elion – who raised the torch of remembrance in our Day of Remembrance for the Nazi Holocaust. We light three torches of remembrance, and he was one of these six, and movingly spoke about how he survived. His entire family was wiped out.

So, I met him right after the ceremony. My wife and I met him, and we said, ‘Please come with us to Thessaloniki so that you can close this circle in your life and the life of our people.’ And he fell ill a day before we left for Greece. He asked the doctor, he begged the doctor, ‘Please let me come.’ And the doctor said, ‘No, you cannot come.’ And so I asked his daughter, who is here with us, Rachel, and his son – stand up, stand up. Rachel and Eliyahu. They are the children of Moshe Ha-Elion and they continue the line of Thessaloniki Jews in Israel, but they are back here in Thessaloniki.

I think this is a testament to the rebirth of our people, which is exemplified in Israel and is a consequence also in many places in the Diaspora.

We have rebuilt our people from ashes, and we built a modern state. We came back to our ancestral homeland. We built a country. We built an army – a good one. We built an economy – a very good one. And we rebuilt and took our place among the nations. Among the nations, Israel and Greece have re-forged an alliance. It’s a natural alliance of democracies. Israel, Greece, Cyprus are the three real democracies in the Eastern Mediterranean. And we have forged this friendship anew and we see all the benefits that accrue to it.

I’m very grateful to Prime Minister Tsipras for hosting this trilateral meeting.”

Netanyahu concluded: “We are strengthening our ties every day. But I think the most interesting thing is the rebirth of the Jewish people and the way that Israel has become a global force – a global force in technology, a global force in fighting the terrorism that threatens all of us, a global force in medicine, in agriculture, in energy, a global force for the future.

It’s a tremendous pleasure to come here and to rekindle that spirit and to say one simple thing, and I think I can say this in this synagogue as best as I can say it in any place on Earth – and that statement is this, three simple words: Am Israel Chai.

 Am Israel Chai.

Thank you, todah rabah.

Thank you all.”

Israel Discovers Terror Tunnels Under Gaza UNRWA Schools

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — June 12, 2017 … The Israel Defense Forces informed the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the main UN aid agency in Gaza, that it had discovered part of a terror tunnel running under two of its schools in a refugee camp in the enclave.

UNRWA then condemned the existence of tunnels which were created for Hamas terror activities saying that it “objected in the strongest possible terms. It is unacceptable that students and staff are placed at risk in such a way,” a written statement said.

A Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum responded and denied the tunnel belonged to his or any other Gaza terror group. The IDF then sarcastically questioned if the tunnels were built by Disney World as a future entertainment feature or was created by the good citizens of Gaza to implement advanced irrigation systems.

Responding to the discovery, Israel’s Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories accused Hamas of “ruining Gaza.”

“It’s clear as day that the entire Arab world has realized that the Hamas terror organization is the one ruining Gaza and destroying Gazans’ chance for a better future,” IDF Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said on COGAT’s Arabic language Facebook page. “Perhaps the time has come for the residents of Gaza to realize this for themselves.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting responded to Hamas Jihadi terror tunnels that were created to carry weapons and bombs into civilian communities in Israel:

“A Hamas tunnel has recently been discovered under two schools in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is using schoolchildren as human shields and this is the enemy that we have been fighting against for many years, an enemy that is committing a twofold war crime.”

“On the one hand, it first attacks innocent Israeli civilians and then hides behind Palestinian children. On Friday I instructed the Israel Foreign Ministry Director General to file an official protest against the Jihadist terror group Hamas at the UN Security Council.

Last week I met with US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. I thanked her, on your behalf as well, for her sharp words in favor of the State of Israel and against the anti-Israel obsession at the UN. I told her that the time has come for the UN to reconsider the continued existence on UNRWA.”

Netanyahu added: “Since World War Two, there have been – and continue to be today – millions of refugees. And these millions have the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), while most of the Palestinian refugees are settled and have a separate commission. This is UNRWA; it has its own institutions and considerable incitement against Israel. I regret that UNRWA, to a large degree, by its very existence, perpetuates – and does not solve – the Palestinian refugee problem. Therefore, the time has come to disband UNRWA and integrate it into the UNHCR.”

UNRWA was caught last week using a photo twice of a Palestinian child living in Syria, this time in its fund-raising campaign for Gaza.

The double use of the photograph was discovered by the Geneva based group UN Watch, whose executive director Hillel Neuer posted both pictures on Twitter with the caption: “Left: UNRWA photo, Jan.27, 2015, of girl in Syria. Right: Same UNRWA photo, May 29, 2017, but now she’s ‘Aya from Gaza’ oppressed by Israel.”

Israel removed all of its civilians and soldiers from Gaza in 2005 in return for a peace agreement. Since 2005, Hamas has attacked Israel with hundreds of mortars and missiles claiming that all of Israel was to be destroyed.

 

Copyright © 2017 Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency All rights reserved

Three Los Angeles Synagogues Evacuated Due to Bomb Threats

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Los Angeles — June 11, 2017 … Bomb threats against Jewish facilities in the US continue as three Los Angeles synagogues were evacuated following a series of online bomb threats. The hate crimes disrupted normally scheduled Shabbat activities on June 10.

The Glazer and Irmas campuses of Wilshire Boulevard Temple as well as University Synagogue in Brentwood were closed shortly after 8 a.m., according to Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). By about 12:45 p.m., LAPD cleared all locations to reopen.

“K9 units responded to the locations to make sure to render all locations safe,” an LAPD spokesperson said. “At this time we have no credible threats.”

Local police and the FBI recently closed a case against an 18-year-old dual American Israeli living in Ashkelon, Israel who was arrested in March under suspicion of being responsible for a series of bomb and other threats to Jewish communities in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand that date back around six months.

His parents claim their son has mental issues suffering from severe autism and a brain tumor that affects his behavior, which led him to issue the threats. A gag order in Israel has been placed on the identity of the suspect.

In March, a St. Louis man, Juan Thompson, was arrested and appeared in federal court on a cyberstalking charge. Thompson, 32, who originally denied the charges in New York City federal court in April has now pleaded guilty to threatening eight JCC facilities. Prosecutors said in a letter filed on Tuesday with the court said that Thompson will enter a guilty plea when he appears in court on June 12.

Federal officials had been investigating over 120 bomb threats called in to Jewish organizations in three dozen states since January 9 and a rash of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries.

Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein of University Synagogue in LA said a staff member “found an email that was beyond nasty — horrific language, and threatening” in a temple email account and its executive director, Lisabeth Lobenthal, called the police.

About 10 police officers answered the call.

Don Levy, the director of marketing and communications at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, said a threat came in Saturday morning via an online submission form on the synagogue’s website. LAPD was notified immediately and the synagogue’s campuses were shut down. Levy said no one was at either the synagogue’s Irmas Campus in West L.A. or its flagship Koreatown building, the Glazer Campus, at the time the threats were made.

“While a communication like that can come in through something as innocuous as an online submission form, we take them all seriously,” he said. “We take any threat seriously and investigate it thoroughly to protect everybody’s safety.”

LAPD urged Jewish communities to exercise vigilance.

“We just want to remind the community to be aware of their surroundings. If they see something, say something.”

ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt‏ stated that the “ADL was standing with​ the Los Angeles Jewish community after the bomb threats defiled Shabbat, reminding us that challenges persist.”

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