February 28, 2017

Kaine Condemns Bomb Threats At Jewish Community Centers & Schools, Calls On Trump Administration To Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement in response to the recent wave of anti-Semitic incidents across the United States, including a bomb threat to the Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax County yesterday:

“I am saddened and outraged by the recent rise of anti-Semitic incidents across our nation, including vandalism of Jewish cemeteries and bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers and day schools. Just yesterday, the Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax County was the target of a bomb threat, one of 31 similar incidents targeting Jewish centers and schools across the nation in a single day. There is nothing more cowardly than targeting institutions where our children go to learn and thrive. I want to express my deep solidarity and support to America’s Jewish community and to all who are victims of hateful threats and actions. I strongly condemn these terrifying incidents, which must be rejected.

“It is no coincidence that we are witnessing a rise in hate speech and crimes targeting minority groups in America, including more than 100 bomb threats against Jewish entities since the beginning of this year and a 67% increase in hate crimes against Muslims in 2015. Divisive political rhetoric has sadly contributed to a climate where individuals who espouse hate feel emboldened. 

“The Administration must speak out clearly, consistently, and forcefully against the rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate crimes impacting communities across our nation. But words are not enough. I urge the Administration to outline to Congress and to the American people how it plans to respond to this threat, including bringing to justice the individuals or groups behind these incidents, and taking the necessary steps to effectively deter these threats in the future.”

On January 24, 2017, Kaine and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the Combatting European Anti-Semitism Act, legislation to address the troubling trend of anti-Semitism across Europe.