Today a fleet of NYPD officials were “summoned” at Rabbi Yechezkel Wagcshal’s funeral. This is a direct result of De Blasio’s Tweet that continues to generalize all Jews by ignoring the diversity and subsets within the Jewish community. It goes on to marginalize Jews in a time of crisis by labeling the actions of select few to all.
It all started with Rabbi Chaim Mentz passing away from COVID-19 and his funeral attracting hundreds of mourners to a neighborhood in Brooklyn on Tuesday. This lead the New York Police Department and the mayor himself to break up the crowds.
Which has lead to today, when a fleet of NYPD officials in Burrough Park by 43rd and 13 Avenue were “summoned” as stated in De Blasio’s Tweet to break up the funeral of Rabbi Yechezkel Wagcshal, thereby attacking passersby.
The pictures of streets, gas stations, and streets in the Jewish areas of New York are alarming and brutal.
The Hasidic Jewish community is generally very sensitive about an overbearing police presence, it brings back recent historical trauma. These controversial Tweets, as well as firm actions, in turn, is causing select few to become defiant when they feel singled-out as a community.
After Tuesday’s incident, De Blasio had tweeted a message directed to “the Jewish community, and all communities.”
This Tweet generalized the entire Jewish community by the actions of a few hundred.
De Blasio “Scapegoating” & “Margalizing” The Jewish Community During COVID-19
That is when Jewish leaders and some elected officials condemned New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for “scapegoating” the Jewish community. More than 100 rabbis, Jewish community leaders, elected officials, temples and organizations signed a letter that was sent to de Blasio on Thursday, calling for a meeting to “discuss constructive approaches” to fighting the pandemic.
The letter was organized by the New York Jewish Agenda to “express our anger and disappointment at your scapegoating the Jewish community in response.”
The letter slams de Blasio for calling to the funeral-goers on Tuesday as “the Jewish community,” saying it “flattens a diverse group of New Yorkers into a single bloc and fuels the anti-Semitic hatreds that bubble beneath the surface of our society.”
“This singling out is especially potent because it aligns with longstanding antisemitic tropes that have, for millennia, blamed Jews for societal ills,” the letter adds.
Community Service During The Pandemic By Jews Goes Unrecognized
The Jewish community as a whole has been criticized for their reaction to the pandemic on the actions of select few who do not speak for the entire community. The public, until recently the mainstream media and especially De Blasio has ignored Jewish groups doing community service during the coronavirus crisis, including formulating blood plasma donation centers, testing facilities, and food banks.
The letter went on to explain the Jewish culture and their need to gather, “as Jews, we come together, at times of prayer, celebration, and mourning, making social distancing particularly crushing for our community.”
It added, “Jews have overwhelmingly led and acted responsibly in this moment of social distancing. To suggest otherwise on the actions of a few is the deepest form of marginalization.”
The Problem With De Blasio’s Tweet and Why There Is A Public Outcry
There is no singular “Jewish community,” and de Blasio’s Tweet which should have been directed to a select group of people, was instead aimed at every Jew in New York. The funerals were and are actions of the non-representative, extremist group but are instead being painted by a thick brush covering all of New York’s Jewry.
Doug Forand, a New York-based Democratic strategist, in an email to City & State explained the problem, “certainly the Mayor is smart enough to know the full breadth and diversity of the Jewish community in New York, and should not have used such a sweeping description for the actions of a subset of the Hasidic community, much less the entire Jewish community as a whole,”
“I don’t believe his intentions were to be anti-Semitic, but using this type of unfortunate choice of words does give anti-Semites more fodder for their hateful rhetoric, and he should know better.”
Now repeat after me, not THE ENTIRE JEWISH COMMUNITY, some people who happen to be Jewish. Do you see the problem?