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New York’s Orthodox Jewish communities are lashing out at Democratic leaders for targeting their neighborhoods with coronavirus orders.
Hundreds of Orthodox Jews took to the streets in protest Tuesday, decrying new state-mandated restrictions and blasting Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio over school closures and restrictions on houses of worship in the wake of a COVID-19 surge.
Members of the Borough Park Orthodox community and others took to the streets where they slammed the Democrat leaders, and even lit a fire in angry protest over the revival of restrictions that also shutter non-essential businesses.
“It’s called civil disobedience, we can fight back,” community activist Heshy Tischler told the crowd. “Do not allow them to torture you or scare you.”
“You are my soldiers. We are at war,” Tischler told protesters, vowing that they would hold “peaceful protests” and that law enforcement would be respected.
Community resident Heshy Tischler tells protesters in the presence of an NYPD inspector: “You are my soldiers. We are at war.” pic.twitter.com/9sneRVxrf3
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) October 7, 2020
Cuomo and de Blasio noted upticks in COVID-19 in certain counties and in areas with large Orthodox Jewish communities, such as in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. Many of the residents did not even hear of the proposal by the Democratic mayor on Sunday as they observed the second day of the Jewish holiday Sukkot.
Announcing this in the middle of a Jewish holiday shows City Hall’s incompetence and lack of sensitivity towards the Jewish Community. https://t.co/JjChkv56Qb
— Daniel Rosenthal (@DanRosenthalNYC) October 4, 2020
The mayor’s plan as submitted to Cuomo called for 100 public and 200 private schools to be closed in the areas where about 1,850 new coronavirus cases have emerged in the past four weeks, the Associated Press reported.
We plan to close nonessential businesses in those ZIP codes on Wednesday morning. We are working with our State partners to finalize that plan.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) October 6, 2020
“We are not going to be deprived of the right that we have in America, like everybody else in America, the right to observe our religion,” Councilman Kalman Yeger told a crowd at one of the protest areas.
— Boro Park News (@BoroPark24) October 7, 2020
Tensions that were already high between the Orthodox Jews and the Democrat leaders during the earlier months of the pandemic, as New York became the nation’s hotspot for the virus, were rekindled in the latest round of announced restrictions. The angry residents defied order to disperse and large crowds blocked road traffic in the night, with some chanting “Jewish lives matter.”
— NYCPHOTOG (@nycphotog) October 7, 2020
Protest in Boro Park, Brooklyn with music people just marching for freedom. pic.twitter.com/9pEAPwM313
— Yaakov Pollak (@Yanky_Pollak) October 7, 2020
De Blasio, who didn’t seem to have a problem with angry Back Lives Matter rioters looting and torching buildings, declared that there would be “no tolerance” for Jewish protesters setting a fire in the middle of a road.
— Julia Marsh (@juliakmarsh) October 7, 2020
Police who arrived to break up the crowds were booed.
Some of these videos circulating from last night in Borough Park are pretty incredible.
At least when the lockdowns were done by zip code, people understood that, even if imperfect. Now, Orthodox Jews feel their neighborhoods are being singled out. pic.twitter.com/AzkeL3nyw8
— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) October 7, 2020
“We’ve lost control,” some community leaders said.
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) October 7, 2020
“We are appalled by Governor Cuomo’s words and actions today. He has chosen to pursue a scientifically and constitutionally questionable shutdown of our communities,” a statement from Yeger, State Sen. Simcha Felder, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein and Councilman Chaim Deutsch read.
Cuomo came to his own defense in a press conference this week, touting his relationship with the Orthodox Jewish community.
(Source: The Hill)
“I have had a 30-year relationship with the Orthodox community,” the Democrat said Monday after warning if they were “not willing to live with these rules,” he had no choice but to shut down their synagogues.
“This is the last thing I want to do,” he claimed. “Forget the politics…personally, I don’t want to have this conversation.”
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