DAVENPORT, Iowa - Davenport's Temple Emanuel Rabbi Henry Karp is taking the bomb threats at Jewish Community Centers around the country very seriously, but says security at his house of worship has been ramped up since the late 1990's.
"We started taking serious security precautions all the way back to 1999, that summer was the summer of hate," said Rabbi Karp, recalling the wave of violence by white supremacists.
"When we hold our services, we have an off-duty police officer, in uniform and armed. Every worship service," he said.
"There has been an uptick of hate speech and hate acts during the course of this past year, especially being fed by some of the rhetoric that took place during the presidential campaign, " he said, referring to the 69 bomb threats made to 54 Jewish Centers around the country since January 9.
"The whole message of making America great again has been picked up by the racist elements of our society and identified as making America white again," Karp said.
"People who hate tend to be equal opportunity haters. They don't just hate Jews, they hate Muslims, people of color, foreigners. I don't think President Trump is an anti-Semite. I think he's very poorly counseled to not speak up until yesterday. I think he needs to speak out against hate in general. That being a hater, being a bigot in this country, is fundamentally, un-American."