From Left to Right, U.S. Jewish Groups Condemn De Blasio for ‘Jewish Community’ Tweet
Jewish organizations from across the political spectrum blasted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for a tweet he made on Tuesday night threatening "the Jewish community" as a whole with arrests after a large ultra-Orthodox funeral was held in Brooklyn in defiance of social distancing guidelines.
“My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: The time for warnings has passed,” the mayor wrote. “I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summon or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping the disease and saving lives. Period.”
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
The tweet came after a funeral procession for coronavirus victim Rabbi Chaim Mertz, drew crowds in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, which had to be dispersed by police.
The World Jewish Congress announced on Wednesday it would formally censure the mayor for his remarks that “painted the Jewish community as lawbreakers and unconcerned about the city’s public health.”
“This type of horrible stereotyping is dangerous and completely unacceptable at any time, but particularly while the world is gripped in fear and the worst among us are looking for scapegoats,” President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder said in a statement. “Mayor de Blasio should know better than to throw gasoline on a smoldering fire."
PHOTO of @NYCMayor @BilldeBlasio failing to social distance moments ago in Williamsburg where people failed to social distance at a funeral the same day that thousands of New Yorkers failed to distance for 45 minutes to watch a flyover. pic.twitter.com/yvxy1aR6Vg
— OJPAC (@OJPAC) April 29, 2020
Lauder added that "Mayor de Blasio needs to realize that while he believes in the importance of social distancing – which I strongly believe in, too – every time a leader like him targets or stereotypes the 'Jewish community,' he feeds into the dangerous agenda of white supremacists and anti-Semites around the world. It needs to end."
The Zionist Organization of America said that the comment is “singling out and attacking the entire Jewish community for an issue with a Jewish funeral, in a manner that can encourage anti-Semitism.”