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NYC Mayor de Blasio Under Fire for Singling Out 'Jewish Community' with Arrest Threat

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is facing criticism after he personally oversaw the police dispersal of a funeral for a Hasidic Jewish rabbi and followed that up with a tweeted threat of arrest that singled out the city’s Jewish community.

De Blasio’s Twitter rant grew out of the funeral for prominent Orthodox Rabbi Chaim Mertz, which took place Tuesday in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. At one point, hundreds of Orthodox Jews gathered in the streets, according to the New York Post.

The mayor directed police to break up the crowd, according to The New York Times.

Although some mourners wore masks, many did not. The crowd was largely packed together. Most did not observe the social distancing rule of keeping 6 feet apart.

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Once the crowd was dispersed, de Blasio went on Twitter to condemn the city’s Jewish residents.

“Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic,” he said.

“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.”

“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,” the mayor tweeted.

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The mayor ran into a firestorm of criticism.

De Blasio tried to say he was not singling out one group.

“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,” he tweeted.

Jewish community activist Isaac Abraham noted that there was no mayoral scolding of city residents who violated social distancing rules during a Tuesday flyover by the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds.

“The crowd for the fighter jets today were around longer than the funeral,” Abraham told the Post.

He also said the police helped plan the funeral and knew a large crowd would attend.

“There’s an old saying. Don’t rain on our parade,” Abraham said. “To run back to City Hall and send a tweet — this is kicking your friend when they’re down. Way down.”

Last month, de Blasio threatened to permanently shutter churches and synagogues, just weeks ahead of Easter and Passover.

“I want to say to all those who are preparing the potential of religious services this weekend — if you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services,” he said. “No faith tradition endorses anything that endangers the members of that faith.

“So the NYPD, Fire Department, Buildings Department, and everyone has been instructed that if they see worship services going on, they will go to the officials of that congregation, they’ll inform them they need to stop the services and disperse.

“If that does not happen, they will take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently.”

Meanwhile, the mayor announced last week that his administration would be providing free meals to Muslims celebrating Ramadan.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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