13% of New York City’s population is Jewish, standing as the largest Jewish community anywhere in the world outside of Israel. Then why, we must ask, is the city led by an anti-Semite?
Mayor Bill de Blasio is clearly not the “traditional” anti-Semite many recognize. After all, he is not a white supremacist who roams the streets with tiki torches while chanting “Jews will not replace us.” However, the deep and broad definition of anti-Semitism reaches far beyond the obviously abhorrent anti-Jewish bigotry which dominates far-Right circles.
One fundamental element of “contemporary” anti-Semitism intentionally overlooked by those who promote or dismiss anti-Semitism on the political Left is the application of double standards. Of this form, Bill de Blasio is demonstrably guilty. While fecklessly struggling to control the coronavirus pandemic which was ravaging the city of New York, de Blasio singled out the “Jewish community” for criticism and condemnation on multiple occasions.
After several thousand Jews attended the funeral of Rabbi Chaim Mertz on April 28th, de Blasio condemned their failure to adhere to social distancing guidelines by tweeting “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.”
More recently, de Blasio “criticized Jewish residents for bypassing park closures” when members of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community used bolt cutters to remove the padlock used to close Middleton Playground in Williamsburg. De Blasio’s response during a press conference was “We’re not going to allow people to take the law into their own hands.”
This is the same Bill de Blasio who remained comparatively silent as his city was torn apart by violent riots. This is the same Bill de Blasio who remained silent as thousands gathered to support black transgender people. This is the same Bill de Blasio who praised his daughter when she was “among the hundreds” arrested during “demonstrations” against police brutality.
Why did Bill de Blasio single out the Jewish community for criticism with the type of language he would never dream of applying to any other minority community? Given the Left’s propensity for focusing on the incitement of violence, surely de Blasio would be more careful given the fact that “more than half of the hate crimes in New York City in 2019 were attacks on Jewish people?”
Unfortunately, Bill de Blasio’s flagrant anti-Semitism is not an isolated case of intentional or unintentional bigotry. He is indicative of a growing faction of “contemporary” anti-Semitism in the American Left, where a double standard is routinely applied to Jews and the Jewish state.
Bill de Blasio must be forced to answer why children are not permitted to enter a playground while thousands of people – including his daughter – are free to roam the streets. “Because they are Jews” is an unacceptable answer.