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'Scapegoating Jews': NYC Mayor de Blasio Under Fire for Twitter Tirade Against Jewish Funeral

04-29-2020
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, April 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, April 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking heat for singling out the Jewish community for criticism after hundreds gathered for a rabbi's funeral in Brooklyn.

New York City police were dispatched to the scene in the city's Williamsburg area to deal with the crowd of Ultra-Orthodox Jews filling the streets and violating the city's social distancing guidelines.

Mayor de Blasio issued a series of angry tweets, calling the gathering "absolutely unacceptable" and saying such scenes "will not be tolerated."

One of his tweets called out the Jewish people in general saying, "My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple. The time for warnings have passed."

That message is what's causing the backlash.

Jonathan Greenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted: "Generalizing against the whole population is outrageous especially when so many are scapegoating Jews."

Sen. Ted Cruz and political commentator Ben Shapiro both questioned if de Blasio would have made the same comments about other religious groups.

Shapiro tweeted, "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." 

The superintendent of a Jewish school district in New York pointed out another example of hypocrisy from city leaders.

"The Blue Angels flyover in NY City today was beautiful, but I didn't see any outrage over the lack of social distancing. That reaction is reserved for Jewish weddings & funerals. Two wrongs don't make a right, but only one wrong makes the news and the condemnation of politicians," said Joel M. Petlin of the Kiryas Joel School District.

De Blasio's targeting of the Jewish community comes just one day after US Attorney General William Barr issued an order to "be on the lookout" for state and local governments violating constitutional rights by overly strict COVID-19 guidelines.

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