De Blasio Pushes Back After Remarks on “Jewish Community” Spark Backlash

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is not backing down after a firestorm over his comments singling out the Jewish community after a funeral.

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.

TheHill reports New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Wednesday said he stood by remarks in which he called out the Jewish community specifically while rebuking a large gathering for a rabbi’s funeral in Brooklyn.

De Blasio, who was on hand as police dispersed the gathering, said he was disturbed by the large number of people crowded together despite social distancing guidelines out in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but said he did not intend to single out any single group.

“I spoke last night out of passion. I could not believe my eyes. … It was deeply, deeply distressing,” he said at a press conference Wednesday. “If you saw anger and frustration, you’re right. I spoke out of real distress that people’s lives were in danger before my eyes and I was not going to tolerate it. So I regret if the way I said it in any way gave people a feeling of being treated the wrong way. That was not my intention. It was said with love, but it was tough love.”

“Members of the Jewish community were putting each other in danger, they were putting our police officers in danger. Now, if I see it in any other community, I will call it out equally,” he added. “I have no regrets about calling out this danger and saying we’re going to deal with it very, very aggressively.”

DailyWire reported 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.

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.”