(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK - Jewish groups expressed dismay on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump reportedly suggested to a group of state attorneys general that the recent wave of bomb threats affecting Jewish institutions in recent days could be false flags designed to “to make others look bad.”
The statement was reported by Buzzfeed, who interviewed Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who was in the meeting with Trump and some of his advisors.
In addition, one of Trump’s advisors and pick to head the White House Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs, Anthony Scaramucci added to the comments on twitter.
“It's not yet clear who the JCC offenders are. Don't forget The Democrats’ effort to incite violence at Trump rallies,” he wrote.
Wave of bomb threats called to Jewish commmunity centers across the US , possible antisemitism(credit: REUTERS)
The American Jewish Congress said it is “deeply troubled and puzzled” by these comments and urged the president to “clarify his intended meaning.”
The Interfaith Alliance, which works to defend religious freedom, also reacted to President Trump’s speculations, calling them “outrageous and irresponsible.”
"President Trump must be listening to Alex Jones again,” IA President Rabbi Jack Moline said. "Taken together, the remarks by Trump and Scaramucci represent an utter failure to comprehend the recent surge in violent rhetoric and attacks directed at Jews, Muslims and other religious minorities.”
Moline pointed out that uptick in antisemitism began during Trump's campaign and has continued unabated.
"The President should be offering words of comfort to terrorized children instead of trying to smear political opponents with innuendo,” he added. “He presumably would have responded differently if the Jewish school that his grandchildren attend had been among those targeted.”
"It's well past time for President Trump to take responsibility for his rhetoric. What he says has consequences, and he must own them."
Jewish Community Centers, Jewish day schools and offices of the Anti-Defamation League have faced multiple waves of bomb threats since January, with a total of 89 incidents at 72 locations in 30 states and 1 Canadian province. In addition, two Jewish cemeteries were vandalized in the past week, in St. Louis and Philadelphia.
Citing unnamed administration officials, Bloomberg reported on Monday that Trump is considering cutting a number of special envoy positions, including one dedicated to fighting antisemitism, as part of a forthcoming budget proposal.