First Liberty Institute, one of the nation's top religious liberty law firms, issued a strong condemnation of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's targeting of the Jewish community.
De Blasio rushed to the scene of a rabbi's funeral and ordered police to break up a massive gathering of Orthodox Jews, the New York Post reported.
The mayor instructed police to make arrests if necessary - even though organizers of the funeral said they had received approval from City Hall to hold the gathering.
“My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed,” the mayor wrote on Twitter. “I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.”
First Liberty Institute president Kelly Shackelford called the mayor's actions "outrageous, vile and dangerous."
"His words condemning an entire religious community during a time of extreme stress and tension invites division and hostility, not unity. We strongly condemn Mayor de Blasio for his harmful words," Shackelford said. "First Liberty Institute will represent, for free, any member of the NYPD who is punished by the Mayor’s office for refusing to follow Mayor de Blasio’s unlawful and immoral order.”
Someone should tell Mayor de Blasio that he’s the mayor of New York City, not 1930’s Berlin.
“Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic,” de Blasio wrote on Twitter. “When I heard, I went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the Coronavirus."
The NYPD did not report any arrests nor were any of the Jews slapped with summonses, the New York Post reported.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blasted the mayor’s attack on Jews.
“Would DeBlasio have sent this identical tweet with the word ‘Jewish’ replaced by any other religious minority? If not, why not? Laws should be enforced neutrally w/o targeting religious faith. #ProtectFreeExercise,” he tweeted.
The mayor's behavior is beyond appalling and it smacks of anti-Semitism.
I hope every Catholic and Protestant in New York City will rise up in defiance of this godless tyrant and stand alongside their Jewish neighbors.
We cannot and we must not tolerate anti-Semitism – especially at City Hall.