Friday, June 05, 2020
Jewish community leaders are condemning New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for a "blatant double standard." He singled out the Jewish community in enforcing coronavirus restrictions, yet defended protesters who violated social distancing rules in order to protest the heinous police killing of George Floyd. In fact, videos showed police officers dispersing Jewish mothers and their children at a playground while a larger group of protesters gathered in violation of lockdown rules.
"The double standard is blatant and shocking," Chaskel Bennett, co-founder of the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition, told Haaretz. "For months, we have seen our community come under unrelenting scrutiny by 'gotcha' media coverage of Hasidic Jews not social distancing or wearing masks, while the overwhelming majority of religious Jews in New York City were doing all the right things."
"After watching the thousands of protesters given free rein to exercise their constitutional right to protest, it begs the question: Isn't religious freedom protected by the very same Constitution?" Bennett asked. "Is there one rule of law or selective enforcement? It seems the mayor thinks differently."
Indeed, de Blasio struggled to defend applying the coronavirus restrictions to protesters and rioters, even while he still applies restrictions on the businesses getting torched and the churches getting burned.
"When you see a nation — an entire nation — grappling with an extraordinary crisis that's deep-seated in 400 years of American racism. Sorry, that is not the same question as the understandably aggrieved store owner or the devout religious person who wants to go back to religious services," de Blasio argued at a press conference on Tuesday.
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