The possibility of anti-Israel protestors storming into synagogues nationwide this Shabbat to protest the Gaza war has been deemed “plausible” by the Jewish Community Relations Council, which sent out a security alert to area institutions on Tuesday.
And a flurry of text messages and e-mails about a Muslim cab driver’s warning to a passenger to stay out of Manhattan Wednesday were “investigated thoroughly,” by the NYPD, reads the alert from JCRC’s Commission on Jewish Security. “Detectives have questioned a number of individuals who were identified by others as the person who supposedly received the threat … Every one of those people admits to learning of the threat from a ‘friend of a friend.’ ”
David Pollock, associate executive director of the JCRC, said the disruption threat was deemed plausible because it was traced directly to a source, which he declined to identify.
The alert called on synagogues to contact local police to apprise them of services schedules, post greeters at the doors and consult with halachic authorities on what type of action is acceptable on the Sabbath.
The alert also reminds congregations that they are legally permitted to deny anyone access to their buildings and urges minimal confrontation, but decisive action in vetting unknown people.
In France on Monday, a car containing Molotov cocktails rammed into the door of a Toulouse synagogue and burst into flames as a rabbi and about 10 of his adult students studied inside. No one was hurt.
The French Jewish community and government expressed their outrage and concern that anti-Semitism is on the rise in reaction to events in Gaza.
The National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism also reported that a 29-year-old Jewish man was beaten by a group of assailants Sunday near the location of a pro-Palestinian protest in Paris that turned violent. The attackers yelled “Palestine will vanquish.”