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NYC Democrat Mayor Bill De Blasio Singles Out ‘Jewish Community’ In Threatening Arrests Over Social Distancing
Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York, attends a tour of Duggal Greenhouse in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. With New York City residents dialing 911 for medical services at a rate not seen in nearly two decades, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio said lawmakers in Washington weren't doing enough to respond to the spiraling coronavirus crisis.
Demetrius Freeman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York City Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio faced instant and widespread backlash late on Monday night over a tweet that singled out the “Jewish community” in threatening arrests for not following social distancing guidelines.

De Blasio tweeted: “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.”

De Blasio’s threat to take action against those who were not following social distancing guidelines comes as his city has been hit harder by the coronavirus than anywhere else in the U.S.

De Blasio’s tweet also comes as the Democrat-controlled area has been ravaged by numerous anti-Semitic hate crimes in recent months and has seen a sharp uptick in attacks on Jews.

The New York Times reported:

Anti-Semitic violence in the New York area has been more frequent lately than at any time in recent memory, with three people killed in a shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, N.J., and five injured in a knife attack at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, N.Y. …

Jewish people were the victims in more than half of the 428 hate crimes in New York City last year, with many of the crimes committed in heavily Orthodox neighborhoods, according to the Police Department. Community leaders said most of the victims in the Monsey and Jersey City attacks were Orthodox.

The tempo of such incidents increased as 2019 ended and the new year began, with 43 across New York State from Dec. 1 to Jan. 6, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Online, de Blasio faced wide spread criticism from prominent Republicans, Democrats, and members of the Jewish community.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded: “Would DeBlasio have sent this identical tweet with the word ‘Jewish’ replaced by any other religious minority? If not, why not? Laws should be enforced neutrally w/o targeting religious faith. #ProtectFreeExercise.”

Lis Smith, who worked on Democrat Pete Buttigieg’s failed presidential campaign, responded: “NYC has been a refuge for Jews fleeing persecution and death for decades and more. How on earth does the mayor of NYC single them out for persecution in the middle of a pandemic? Words do not exist to describe the criminal incompetence at City Hall.”

Washington Examiner Executive Editor Seth Mandel responded: “You lowlife cretinous bobblehead. There’s only one community you would address this way. And it’s the one that just went through a pogrom on your watch, as you let it happen. The Jewish people will survive your term in office, despite your best efforts. Am Yisrael chai.”

Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro responded: “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.”

Forward Editor Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt responded: “Dangerous choice of words, Mayor — accusing the entire Jewish community of the misbehavior of a minority. Would you dare to say this about any other group in this city?”

New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz responded: “What’s amazing about this is he could have done this in a way that every Jew on your timeline would be cheering him. But nah, after last year’s anti-Semitism spike in NYC, he does it like this.”

Federalist co-founder Sean Davis tweeted: “New York City’s mayor just ordered police to start rounding up Jews.”

Ted Cruz National Security Adviser Omri Ceren responded: “Publicly calling out Jews for gathering together & threatening police action to break them up, all in the name of public safety, is a lot of things. But original it is not.”

Podcast host Dave Rubin responded: “You’re an awful human being. And for the record I was ahead of the curve on it. Also, my sister and her family just moved out of what was once the greatest city in the world. Mazel tov. (Thats Jew talk.)”

“Why the bloody HELL is this specifically addressed to the Jewish community?” Attorney and conservative commentator Josh Hammer tweeted. “Seriously, is there any reason whatsoever why someone would tweet this message like this other than malice? Other than anti-Semitism?”

Late last month, de Blasio threatened to close churches if worshipers continued to congregate together.

“So, 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,” de Blasio told reporters. “I don’t say that with any joy. It’s the last thing I would like to do because I understand how important people’s faiths are to them, and we need our faiths in this time of crisis, but we do not need gatherings that will endanger people.”

“No faith tradition endorses anything that endangers the members of that faith,” de Blasio continued. “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,” de Blasio concluded. “Again, that will begin this weekend. Again, I’m sorry I have to tell you this, but anyone who’s hearing this, take it seriously. You’ve been warned, you need to stop services, help people practice their faith in different ways, but not in groups, not in gatherings that could endanger people.”

This is a breaking news story, refresh the page for updates.

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