Don't expect the Gaza war to stay in Israel, and don't expect any Jewish event to be safe. Make sure you are keeping your eyes and your ears open and report anything suspicious--even if it seems very small.
This is also the time to make sure that your Jewish organization has a plan of action in case of emergency.
Know where the fire extinguishers are (not only to put out a fire, but to use as a weapon to be fired in the face of a gunman, or to hit them with).
Know where the gas can be turned off, and how to turn it off.
Make sure that you deligate specific people who are responsible to get the children, the elderly, the disabled, and the important religious artifacts to a safe location in case of emergency.
Know that you can throw books, shoes, or other items at a terrorist in order to get them to drop their weapon. Think of how many places you can hide, how many things you can use as a weapon.
If you can, leave your cell phone at the synagogue on Friday night in a place where it is easy to get to. Make sure you turn it off, but it is handy in case of emergency.
Make sure your synagogue or Jewish organization has trained, armed security at every even where Jews gather. Make sure your children's school is secured with cameras, specific entry areas with speakers and buzzers, crash barriers, and that all outside doors are locked and secured during school hours.
I am hoping we don't have to worry about these things, but, as you know, we always do have to worry. We are Jews.
And if you think that you are safe because you are some sort liberal who loves the arabs and wears a headscarf around in solidarity, please remember that you have as much power to repel their hate with your arguments of love and understanding as you would have standing before a charging bull yelling "I'm a vegetarian!"
They don't care. You are a target. Wake up.
And, by the way, a bunch of leftist wackos are planning to go to all the synagogues in the US next Shabbat in small groups of two or three people to disrupt services, to yell that we are killing arabs, and to VIDEOTAPE our reactions--even though, as you are probably aware, videotaping us on Shabbat is breaking Shabbat, and violating our religious rights.
You synagogue has the right to refuse entry to any person for any reason. If you don't know someone who is there next Shabbat, question them politely but firmly. Find out who they are and be suspicious. If your synagogue doesn't have a security detail and/or a Gabbi who meets people at the door, please designate one ASAP for this purpose.
The IPA website (see link above) has a lot of other really good suggestions for how to deal with this threat.
Warning to U.S. Jewish Centers
6 January 2009: Despite official U.S. intelligence reports denying specific threat information as a result of Israeli action in Gaza, the Northeast Intelligence Network has confirmed increased terrorist “chatter” that specifically suggests pre-operational planning by Muslim terrorist operatives against Jewish assets and people throughout North America. “Chatter,” in the lexicon of intelligence agencies, encompasses various forms of communications, from communication intercepts to postings on Arabic language message boards.
Investigators and researchers of the Northeast Intelligence Network have seen a dramatic spike in postings on Arabic language web sites used by Islamic terrorists within the last several days. The rise of these communications is obviously in direct relation to Israel’s actions launched against Islamic terrorists in Gaza. Investigators however, have observed a disturbing change not only in the tenor of these postings, but in their specificity.
“The message being sent by Muslim terrorists considered ‘reputable’ Internet sources, as much as one could consider such sources as ‘reputable,’ is one of individual, if not collective action across the globe,” stated Douglas J. Hagmann, director of the Northeast Intelligence Network. “There is a call to action being made over the Internet by posters who have established a perceived level of legitimacy. These posters are the individuals who have achieved a following in the virtual world, based in part on their history of accuracy relative to terrorist operations and their posting history. Their message is to take action against Jews anywhere in the world, including inside the U.S., Canada and all Western countries, as well as their American backers,” stated Hagmann.
Although the intelligence value of the majority of Internet postings can be reasonably questioned, there have been notable exceptions, and it continues to be an accurate indicator of the pre-operational interests of Islamic terrorists, according to Hagmann.
“The call is to strike out against Jewish places of worship, Jewish centers, and schools, especially in the U.S.,” said Doug Hagmann. He added that the more recent postings have risen from “rallying cries to the level of authoritative directions, with the admonishment that it is the moral imperative of all practicing and faithful Muslims to strike out against the Jews, especially those living within the relative security of the U.S. I’m not sure how much more specific of a threat one might expect to get from Internet postings,” added Hagmann.
“Anyplace where Jews gather for school, worship services or social events are being described as “desirable targets,” according to these communications. Emphasis is also being placed on body count and visible carnage, including attacks against children.
Concurrent with these Internet postings on the same terrorist web sites are those of a political nature. Hagmann stated that researchers have found a consistent theme among those who voice support for HAMAS and not just for the residents of Gaza. “To the ‘reputable authors’ of these Internet web sites, there is absolutely no distinction between Palestinians living in Gaza and HAMAS. In fact, there seems to be a push for Gaza residents who are not already doing so to support HAMAS in any way possible, from providing supplies and shelter to taking a more active role.
The enemy of my enemy…”
From reporters to ‘Middle East expert talking heads,’ the media is not portraying this situation accurately, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by terrorist supporters, especially in the West. We are seeing a growing solidarity among Muslims of all sects to rally behind what is being described as the “slaughter” of Palestinians by the Israelis. Featured prominently within these communications are reports by Western media sources such as CNN, MSNBC and the major television networks that feature video of alleged Gaza victims. Such footage is being used to inflame the sentiments of the readers of the Arabic websites, followed by instructions to readers of all Islamic sects to avenge the deaths of Muslims in Gaza.
Despite the media reports that Iran, for example, has no involvement in the Israel-Palestinian situation, there is indeed an Iranian component in this battle. Muslim terrorists from Iran are beginning to come to the aid of HAMAS in growing numbers, fueled in no small way, by recent statements from Iranian religious leaders. “To dismiss Iranian complicity in this matter is disingenuous at the very least,” stated Hagmann. The war is being characterized as a war against all Muslims, and all Muslims are being encouraged to defend their religion.
The exploitation of Western Media
Supporters of the Palestinian cause are being encouraged to describe the actions by Israeli IDF soldiers as “atrocities,” and to describe Israel’s actions using such terms as “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide.” The instructions being given to Western followers on these web sites are very explicit, stated Hagmann. “There is a previously unseen level of orchestration, even sophistication behind these instructions.”
According to Doug Hagmann, postings by participants of these terror sites are encouraging public demonstrations in every U.S. city and are even suggesting what words should be used to ‘insure sympathy’ for their cause.”
Lastly, much is being said about the upcoming Obama administration within these forums, according to sources within the Northeast Intelligence Network. There is a growing optimism that the U.S. policies toward Israel will change dramatically, favoring the Palestinians over Israel. “Allah willing, Israel will cease to exist,” wrote one poster in reference to the Obama administration.
There is a war for the minds and hearts of Americans in the media as well as the battlefields in the Middle East. If one is lost, both will be lost.