New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio claimed during a press conference on Tuesday that it is the Right that is responsible for anti-Semitism, not the Left.
While speaking at a Brooklyn press conference on Tuesday about increased hate crimes occurring in the Deep Blue city, de Blasio claimed, “I think the ideological movement that is anti-Semitic is the right-wing movement.”
He further explained that throughout history, anti-Semitism has been brought about from the Right, including Nazism and fascism.
“I want to be very very clear, the violent threat, the threat that is ideological, is very much from the Right,” he continued, suggesting progressives need to make this clear as they campaign.
When a reporter asked about the left-wing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel (while not using the same tactics against any other countries), de Blasio said he disagreed the movement was based in anti-Semitism.
The New York Post reported that hate crimes are on the rise in New York City.
“Hate crimes against all minority groups are up 64% compared to this time last year. Anti-Semitic incidents have spiked by 90%,” the outlet reported.
Both Democrats and Republican members of the New York City Council condemned de Blasio’s comments, according to the Post. Brooklyn Democrat Chaim Deutch said he had “not seen any white supremacists coming in here committing these hate crimes.”
Staten Island Republican Joe Borelli had, perhaps, the best quip in response to the mayor’s claims.
“A simple look at where anti-Semitic hate crimes have occurred just disproves this – unless you count central Brooklyn as the home of a vast right-wing conspiracy,” the councilman said.
Indeed, the Brooklyn Paper reported that the borough is a hotbed of anti-Semitic attacks.
“We definitely see some precincts spiking and taking a disproportionate share of those crimes [such as the 71st Precinct and 94th Precinct] in Brooklyn. We also see it on the Upper East Side in the 19th Precinct,” NYPD Chief Dermot Shea said, according to the paper. “So, there are hotspots, if you will, where we see a disproportionate share but that’s not to say that it’s confined solely to that. We see small instances spread throughout the city.”
For reference, 79% of those who voted in Brooklyn during the 2016 election voted for Hillary Clinton. Just 18% voted for Donald Trump.
The Brooklyn Paper documented several incidents of anti-Semitic violence in the borough in just the past few months. In November, a yeshiva student was attacked by a group of people who, according to witnesses, hurled anti-Semitic slurs while beating the 16-year-old. In February, anti-Semitic drawings, including swastikas, were written on a playground. Just last week, someone wrote “Hitler is coming” on a Post-it note outside the Jewish Children’s museum. Earlier in the month, a group of men attacked another man while he was wearing religious garb and yelled anti-Semitic slurs at him. A few days after that, a teenager “sucker punched” an Orthodox Jewish man.
De Blasio’s press conference was meant to address hate crimes and announce the creation of the Office of the Prevention of Hate Crimes to get the attacks – now just against the Jewish community but against other communities as well – under control.