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Schumer Calls On The FCC To Grant Waiver In JCC Cases

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Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the top-ranking Democrat in the federal government, has called upon the Federal Communications Commission to help in tracing the numbers of those who telephoned in bomb threats to various Jewish institutions across the country.

Schumer, who is Jewish, called upon the FCC after a string of around 100 anti-Semitic threats to 81 Jewish Community Centers across the U.S. since January.

“The damage from these threats is far-reaching, often disrupting our classrooms and requiring the deployment of bomb squads and other SWAT equipment,” Schumer wrote in a statement released Feb. 28, reports The Hill. “As you can imagine, these attacks have traumatized the Jewish community and struck fear in homes across the country.”

Schumer is calling on the FCC to grant a waiver unscrambling the telephone numbers connected with 11 bomb threats called into JCCs on Feb. 27, several of which were in or around New York. Schumer represents New York in the Senate.  

“Chairman [Ajit] Pai is very concerned about the bomb threats being made to Jewish Community Centers across our country," a spokesman for the FCC responded. "These threats have instilled fear and disrupted lives throughout the United States, and Chairman Pai condemns such anti-Semitic acts in the strongest possible terms ... The FCC is actively exploring what steps the FCC can take quickly to help Jewish Community Centers and law enforcement combat these threats.”

In a Feb. 28 speech to a join session of Congress, President Donald Trump commented on the string of threats and acts.

“Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains,” Trump said, notes the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. "Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms."

But according to BuzzFeed, just hours earlier, at a White House meeting, Trump was asked about the various anti-Semitic acts and had a different opinion.

"He just said, ‘Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people -- or to make others -- look bad,’ and he used the word ‘reverse’ I would say two to three times in his comments," Josh Shapiro, the Pennsylvania Attorney General who asked Trump, said. "He did correctly say at the top that it was reprehensible.”

Sources: The Hill, BuzzFeed, Jewish Telegraphic Agency / Photo credit: Navajo Nation Washington Office/Flickr

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