Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday the city’s police would crack down on Jewish protesters who light fires or commits acts of violence while demonstrating against new restrictions in areas of the city that are seeing spikes in coronavirus, including Jewish sections of Brooklyn and Queens.
“The NYPD will not tolerate people doing harm to others. There will be no tolerance for setting fires,” de Blasio said. “If anyone commits an act of assault, of course there will be consequences.”
On Tuesday night, there was no New York City Police Department action — meaning no summonses or arrests — after a Hasidic protesters in Brooklyn grew aggressive, setting a fire and attacking a photographer, according to the New York Post.
One night earlier, however, a gathering of people celebrating the ongoing Jewish holiday of Sukkot were dispersed by police, as documented by video footage:
HAPPENING NOW: New York City police officers forcefully dispersing Jews who gathered outside to celebrate the Sukkot holiday. pic.twitter.com/r7hYwJZKVT
— SV News 🚨 (@SVNewsAlerts) October 6, 2020
“Wow, what does this grim picture remind you of?” President Donald Trump tweeted in response to the video. “I am the only thing in the Radical Left’s way! VOTE.”
If someone in New York were to hand out Black Lives Matter posters to these Jews, not only would De Blasio leave them alone, he’d probably join in. https://t.co/46e0BrANIU
— Lauren Chen (@TheLaurenChen) October 7, 2020
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who imposed the new rules restricting capacity at houses of worship and businesses in parts of the city, said the blame rests with communities that did not carry out his previous edicts to the letter.
“To the extent there are communities that are upset, that’s because they hadn’t been following the original rules. And that’s why the infection spread, because they weren’t following the rules,” he said at a news briefing Wednesday.
“And the rules weren’t being enforced. The rules weren’t being enforced because the communities didn’t want to follow them. I understand that. But that’s why we are where we are. Make no mistake.”
Speaking to Jewish protesters Tuesday night, community activist Heshy Tischler seethed defiance over the restrictions, according to the Post.
“It’s called civil disobedience, we can fight back,” Tischler said after ripping his mask from his face.
He breathed scorn at elected officials.
“Do not allow them to torture you or scare you,” he said.
As a separate protest, Democratic NYC Councilman Kalman Yeger told Jewish marchers, “We are not going to be deprived of the right that we have in America, like everybody else in America, the right to observe our religion.”
During the protest, demonstrators threw their masks into a fire, WNBC-TV reported.
Video of the protests was shared on Twitter:
Orthodox Jews last night burning their Covid masks in response to De Blasio’s religious bigotry. pic.twitter.com/HhdGtn7LQ1
— Justin Hart (@justin_hart) October 7, 2020
Many castigated Cuomo and de Blasio for their actions.
“‘Rounding up the Jews’ is an optic that I would never have expected to see in my American lifetime. DeBlasio is a criminal,’ actor James Woods tweeted, calling deBlasio “an anti-Semite thug.”
Antisemitic Democratic Party Strike Again…
NY Gov. Cuomo & Mayor de Blasio violated a court order which allowed Jews to Worship & celebrate Sukkot
It is Your Constitutional Right to Worship
One more reason why Jews are voting for President Trump – Never Be Silent Again! pic.twitter.com/DGh0kn1DOz
— Amy Mek (@AmyMek) October 7, 2020
Protesters returned to the streets Wednesday in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, allegedly going so far as to assault a reporter for Jewish Insider while yelling “Nazi” and “Hitler” at him.
Newsweek Opinion Editor Josh Hammer, meanwhile, lambasted Cuomo and de Blasio in an Op-Ed on Wednesday.
“Cuomo and hizzoner have positioned themselves as the modern-day heirs to a most lamentable and vile Western tradition, dating back at least to the Black Death of 14th-century Europe, of singling out the Jews for being uniquely culpable transmitters of a highly contagious pandemic,” he wrote.
“Perhaps, amidst today’s increasingly anti-Semitic leftist grassroots, these ‘leaders’ expect political accolades for directing their ire against the world’s oldest, most frequently targeted scapegoats.”
Hammer also called for swift federal action.
“Attorney General William Barr should immediately open a Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigation as to whether Cuomo and de Blasio are violating federal law by discriminating against New York City’s Jewish community in such transparent fashion,” he wrote.
“For far too long since the initial COVID-19 lockdowns in mid-March, hizzoner and his overlord Cuomo have targeted the nation’s largest Jewish population with unequal and selective enforcement of the law.”
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