New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Tuesday took to Twitter to warn the Jewish community not to be out in large gatherings or they could face being arrested.
Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic. 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— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 29, 2020
My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. 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.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 29, 2020
We have lost so many these last two months + I understand the instinct to gather to mourn. But large gatherings will only lead to more deaths + more families in mourning. We will not allow this. I have instructed the NYPD to have one standard for this whole city: zero tolerance.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 29, 2020
The call comes after NYC's Hasidic Jewish community has been ravaged by the Wuhan coronavirus. Although large gatherings have been banned in the Big Apple, members of the Hasidic community have come together for funerals.
According to the New York Times, this religious community has been particularly hard hit by the virus, even though they're practicing social distancing while attending funerals.
The coronavirus has hit the Hasidic Jewish community in the New York area with devastating force, killing influential religious leaders and tearing through large, tight-knit families at a rate that community leaders and some public health data suggest may exceed that of other ethnic or religious groups.
The city does not track deaths by religion, but Hasidic news media report that roughly 700 members of the community in the New York area have died from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Borough Park is a leafy neighborhood of low-rise buildings and small businesses like the kosher bakeries and Judaica shops on Raoul Wallenberg Way that cater to the local Hasidic population. More than 6,000 people there have tested positive for the virus, with one of the neighborhood’s ZIP codes being the city’s fifth most heavily affected, according to data released by the city.
Other neighborhoods with large Hasidic populations, like South Williamsburg and Crown Heights, have some of the city’s highest levels of positive Covid-19 test results, the data show.
Conservatives saw through de Blasio's anti-Semitic tweet and called him out for it:
If this was about stopping the spread of the disease, you wouldn't have been engaging in "non-essential travel" yourself. This is about control. Admit it.— Beth Baumann (@eb454) April 29, 2020
Do you have any other color than brown shirts?— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) April 29, 2020
YIKES, bro. pic.twitter.com/UjZ97rAZGU— Sara Gonzales (@SaraGonzalesTX) April 29, 2020
excuse me what— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) April 29, 2020
You can say goodbye to your next election— Anna Khait (@Annakhait) April 29, 2020
The NYPD hates you though. They’re not going to round up Jews for you, Red Bill.— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) April 29, 2020
You’re an awful human being. And for the record I was ahead of the curve on it. Also, my sister and her family just moved out of what was once the greatest city in the world. Mazel tov. (Thats Jew talk.) pic.twitter.com/o7XLR7YBSc— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) April 29, 2020
The NYPD are not your personal Nazis. They should tell you to pound sand and stand guard to let people worship.— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) April 29, 2020
That's called antisemitism.— Jacob Airey (@realJacobAirey) April 29, 2020
Between Cuomo calling homeless people sleeping on the subway "disgusting" and De Blasio slamming "the Jewish community," it's been a banner day for NY leadership -- and for a media that would tear these politicians down with a wrecking ball if there were an R by their names.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 29, 2020
Members of the Jewish community, including some progressives, even slammed his words:
“The Jewish community”?— Elad Nehorai (@PopChassid) April 29, 2020
Are you kidding me? We are not a monolith, and neither are the specific communities you are calling out.
This is disgusting and antisemitic, and especially dangerous considering the recent uptick in antisemitic attacks.
You goddamned hypocrite.— Ron Coleman (@RonColeman) April 29, 2020
Do you know that Jews were blamed for the Black Plague, and thousands were killed in pogroms? Do you know that white nationalists are RIGHT NOW blaming Jews for this pandemic on internet message boards? How can you do something so dangerous and irresponsible?— Stefanie Iris Weiss ?? (@EcoSexuality) April 29, 2020
I can't imagine de Blasio saying this about any other community. It's pretty amazing. And for the record, MANY of the leaders of the Jewish community have taken strong stands on social distancing. https://t.co/aqlL7Yr8Xs— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 29, 2020
And some Democrats even (rightfully) went after him.
NYC has been a refuge for Jews fleeing persecution and death for decades and more.— Lis Smith (@Lis_Smith) April 29, 2020
How on earth does the mayor of NYC single them out for persecution in the middle of a pandemic?
Words do not exist to describe the criminal incompetence at City Hall. https://t.co/1bc2IoBcJt
De Blasio shouldn't be calling out a single religious group, especially the Jewish community who has seen an uptick in anti-Semitic attacks lately. It's why Jews have had to continually arm themselves against anti-Semites. And here we have the mayor, the guy who claims to be all-inclusive, wanting to persecute the very community that he claims he wants to protect.
On top of it all, de Blasio has the nerve to say this is about stopping the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus yet he broke his own stay-at-home order and traveled to Brooklyn for a walk. And he had a resident confront him over his hypocrisy.
New Yorkers deserve better leadership.
This post has been updated with additional tweets.
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