Jewish leaders ‘hurt’ by the Mayor and request a meeting.” In the midst of an historic wave of antisemitic hate violence in New York City, our community like the Asian community has been feeling the pain of being singled out and blamed for the spread of this deadly disease,” the letter says.
The letter is signed by groups including Jews for Racial & Economic Justice and the New York Jewish Agenda, as well as Congressman Jerrold Nadler, state Sens. Brad Hoylman and Julia Salazar and Assembly members Harvey Epstein and Linda B. Rosenthal.
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio oversaw the dispersal of a large, tightly packed Hasidic Jewish funeral and lashed out at the mourners who had gathered in defiance of social distancing rules intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus. “My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed,” de Blasio tweeted Tuesday after police dispersed the funeral in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
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During a press briefing at City Hall Wednesday morning, de Blasio said he regretted “if the way” he expressed himself “gave people a feeling of being treated the wrong way.” The Mayor stressed that his comments were “tough love” in a moment of “anger and frustration” after witnessing the violations with his own eyes. “So again, if in my passion and my emotion, I said something that in any way was hurtful, I’m sorry about that,” de Blasio added.
In the letter, the leaders said they were” hurt” by the comments and requested a meeting with the mayor “to discuss constructive approaches to respond to the pandemic. That recognizes the Jewish community’s earnest efforts to fight COVID-19, protect vulnerable communities, and avoid heavy-handed over-policing.
the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York indirectly referenced the tweet by saying, “Words matter.” Agudath Israel of America stated that the mayor “gave the impression that he saw the Jewish community, in particular, as flouting rules of social distancing.”