Our community and the turmoil around.
These are troubling times.
The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis (5.25.2020) has started a chain of protest and instability.
Extremist groups from the right and left are piggybacking on this protest to promote their agenda which in many cases includes antisemitism. These groups are using several techniques to disguise their agenda, to turn innocent demonstrations into violent events. They do so using techniques we know from Palestinian terrorists during the intifada – a small group of “ignitors” creating violence under the cover of the other protestors. They also use disinformation techniques, posting in social media as the opposing faction in order to put the blame for violence on the other side and by that discredit and undermine their opponents’ legitimacy.
Moreover there is also a “regular” criminal side to this violence.
The fact that there are no credible threats to Jewish communities at this time (according to law enforcement) does not mean we can rest on our laurels. However, it does give us time to prepare for the eventuality of escalation.
The main point to remember is that our primary goal is protecting lives, not property!
What can we do to be better prepared should danger approach our doorstep –
- Review your security plan and measures. Do they mitigate the current threat? If not, bring them up to date.
- Review/write a business continuity plan
- Check the status of your surveillance system and make sure you have cameras looking to the outer perimeter of your facility.
- Monitor your surveillance system – look for signs of intelligence gathering at your facility, indications that the “ignitors” will try and stir up protest and violence at your facility after they have checked it out before. Detecting them beforehand will allow you to alert law enforcement to take the appropriate measures.
- Try and keep minimal to no presence in your facility. Use zoom or similar systems to communicate with your congregation.
- Avoid friction with any kind of protest by lay leaders or security teams. Leave this kind of contact to law enforcement.
- Evaluate the need to remove valuable items from you facility to a safe place.
- Make sure your insurance is up to date and adequate for the threat.
Be prepared and stay safe.