Bill de Blasio Condemned Jewish Funeral but Attended George Floyd Memorial with Thousands


We dodged a bullet when Bill de Blasio lost the Democratic presidential primary.

I mean, the bullet was fired fairly wide of the target. The New York City mayor, who inexplicably thought he could jump from Gracie Mansion to the White House, generally polled below Vermin Supreme in the primaries. And why not? Supreme promised us free ponies, de Blasio promised us that he’d run America like he’d run New York City. I’d take the pony.

Well, perhaps New Yorkers could get a pony with that $1,200 check (I haven’t priced ponies lately), but other than that they still have de Blasio’s governance to deal with. He’s locked down the city, which is pretty predictable when you consider it’s the global locus of COVID-19 cases these days. How locked down it is, however, depends on who you are.

Let’s say you’re an Orthodox Jew looking to hold or attend a funeral for a beloved rabbi. Not only are you not going to be able to do it, but you’re also going to get a tongue-lashing from Hizzoner.

Let’s say you’re an individual who wants to attend a memorial for George Floyd. Not only are you totally OK, but you may also get a handshake from the mayor while you’re there.

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Proof that liberal politicians believe infections from the novel coronavirus don’t happen if the cause behind the event is liberal enough, the memorial service in COVID-soaked New York City was massive. That’s understandable, particularly if the police aren’t cracking down on it the way they crack down on, say, church services.

What’s not quite understandable is when the mayor decides to join in.

And by the way, let’s make clear what kind of “gathering” this was. We’re not talking people social distancing in a park:

Remember when agglomerations of humanity like this were killing people’s poor grandparents? Pepperidge Farm might have something to say about that.

De Blasio’s attendance was actually a really poor idea, considering the fact he was drowned out by booing attendees. And considering all of those attendees were doubtlessly wearing masks, which muffle noise, there had to be a lot of booing.

Considering the fact that the mayor was allowing the gathering despite the fact that it was arguably the biggest coronavirus transmission risk we’ve seen in the Big Apple in months and the mayor was letting it go on, perhaps they might have at least just given him a desultory golf clap.

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That’s doubly true when you consider how the mayor acted when a high-profile rabbi died in April and the tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community in the city came out to pay their respects.

Rabbi Chaim Mertz died April 28 of COVID-19, according to The Yeshiva World. The idea of a large funeral was unacceptable to the New York mayor.

Yep, you heard that right: “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.”

Again, New York City isn’t much better than it was at the end of April. Yes, the curve has flattened. You know what won’t flatten it? A massive memorial service for George Floyd. But you know what the real threat was? A funeral for an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi attended by only 2,500 people.

Even after tweets accusing de Blasio of overreaction and anti-Semitism — this isn’t his first clash with Brooklyn’s large Jewish community — he still defended his actions.

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“I spoke last night out of passion. I could not believe my eyes,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing the day after the tweets, according to ABC News. “It was deeply, deeply distressing.”

“It’s not like people gathering in the park. … It was thousands of people. Can we just have an honest conversation?” he said, strenuously denying accusations of anti-Semitism.

We never had that conversation, but de Blasio seems to have changed his mind about “zero tolerance” anyway. I wonder why.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture