... and now London and Sydney targeted
THE JEWISH Museum in London was evacuated on Monday after receiving a hoax bomb threat, leading to fears of copycat targeting of Jewish institutions in Britain and elsewhere.
The museum received a phone call at around midday, which led to the premises being cleared. Around 100 people, including children from two schools, were in the building at the time.
Earlier the same day, the Sydney Jewish Museum in Australia was closed after receiving a bomb threat — while Jewish community centres across the US were being hit by a wave of hoax bomb threats.
As yet, no explosive devices have been found in any of these incidents.
Mark Gardner, CST communications director, said: “It is a complicated situation with local and international aspects.
“The current threats to Jewish centres in America are well-known, but similar problems were faced by UK schools, both Jewish and non-Jewish in February 2016 and again in January 2017.
“It is not currently known how many of these threats are properly interconnected at source, or are copycat-type incidents.”
Amber Rudd, Home Secretary, spoke of the importance of CST’s efforts to protect the community during the charity’s annual dinner on Wednesday.
“We only need to look at recent events — bomb hoaxes and the desecration of Jewish graves in America and the evacuation of the Jewish Museum following a bomb threat — to know how important this type of work is,” she said.
A Jewish Museum spokesperson confirmed the evacuation had been “a precaution following a security alert.
“We work closely with the police and CST on our security procedures and were able to evacuate the building quickly and safely.”
Abigail Morris, director of the Jewish Museum, said: “We take the safety of our staff and visitors extremely seriously. This incident underlines how vital our work is. We welcome thousands of visitors to the Jewish Museum every year, including 20,000 schoolchildren — 95 per cent of whom are not Jewish.
“We challenge prejudice and combat antisemitism by breaking down barriers and building bridges.”