Instead of working towards securing the safety of New York City’s residents after a wave of Black Lives Matter riots targeted businesses, instead of protecting inner-city areas of New York where shootings are at a rise not seen in decades, instead of safely opening up the city to invite back those who originally left for the coronavirus shutdown, Mayor Bill de Blasio chose to allow a giant Black Lives Matter banner be painted on Fifth Avenue. There might as well be a giant “Palestinian” terrorist flag splayed along a stretch of the upscale commercial heart of Manhattan.
Black lives matter, all black people matter—black cops included, black innocent Americans who are being gunned down in certain neighborhoods because of the castration of police departments (their lives matter, too). But the group/movement Black Lives Matter (BLM) is well-known for its blatant anti-Semitism, its anti-Israel rhetoric. The movement has not been “co-opted” by terrorist supporters and Jew-haters, as many erroneously state.
Anti-Israel hate has been in its charter from the beginning. Members of BLM incited the Orthodox Jewish targeted pogrom in the Fairfax neighborhood in Los Angeles on May 30. Five synagogues were vandalized, along with three Jewish schools. Anti-Israel messaging was sprayed and “F**k the Jews” was heard in chants as the BLM anti-Semites were seen tearing through the area. That was the first in this year’s round of BLM public anti-Semitism. Most recently anti-Semitic chants were heard at a rally in Washington, D.C., and online anti-Semitic messaging is prevalent on BLM posts.
It is not surprising that de Blasio would support such a Jew-hating movement. For years, he palled around with Linda Sarsour, the original queen bee of anti-Zionist anti-Semitism, and a disciple of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. These days she has been eclipsed by Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, but her influence has been far-reaching in liberal spheres.
De Blasio has led the charge against Jewish New Yorkers. Last year, when Jews, particularly Orthodox Jews, were being violently assaulted in New York—when at first a month wouldn’t go by without hearing some horrid anti-Semitic attack, and then a day—de Blasio was blaming it on white supremacists. Even Democrat Councilman Chaim Deutsch, whose district’s residents were the primary targets, refuted that claim.
Those targeting Jews were other minorities, mainly black and Hispanic New Yorkers. De Blasio did not push back against the dangerous new bail-reform law, which essentially gave a slap on the wrist for criminals and those who did end up in jail ended up being released shortly after committing crimes. He did nothing to protect his Jewish residents.
When the Iranian-backed, terrorist-in-nature Al-Quds Day event was held last year in Times Square, the anti-Israel groups participating had to get a permit; that was allowed. Not even a few weeks ago, a “Day of Rage” protest/march was held in Brooklyn, these events explicitly target Israel which directly is an attack on Jews and often times leads to anti-Semitic incidents. Yet were there any neo-Nazi marches in New York City? Not that those should ever be encouraged, of course, but de Blasio would not give such an easy permit to white supremacists, as he does to every other Jew-hater.
When New York was in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, only the Chassidic Jewish community was the target of de Blasio’s ire. Yet there was overcrowding issues in the Bronx and house parties in Harlem. Being vigilant was all in the name of beating the virus, so most Jews did not say much. However, when a legitimate Chassidic funeral on April 28 was planned not only with approval of the New York Police Department but with pre-approval of the Mayor’s Office, de Blasio showed up, “shocked” at the crowd size, and immediately fired off an anti-Semitic tweet directed at the Jewish community. The Jewish community in New York is not cohesive; dozens of vibrant groups make up the proud fabric of Jewry in New York. and so to blame “all Jews” due to one pre-arranged funeral, while ignoring other groups who were gathering in large numbers, was absolutely anti-Semitic.
One would think that letting Chassidic children play in neighborhood playgrounds would be far less a crime than thousands marching, many without face masks, but no. De Blasio ordered the police to fine parents whose children went without masks. This behavior towards the religious Jewish community was an injustice when such hypocrisy was on full display during the height of the BLM protests and interwoven riots.
De Blasio’s anti-Semitic culture extends beyond himself. Earlier this year, Democrat Councilman Kalman Yeger pointed out the poison of anti-Semitism permeating within the City Council. And mere days ago, a City of New York tweet reminded residents to fill out the 2020 Census. It included a “Palestinian” flag among other flags representing the homelands of the city’s residents, but omitted the Israeli flag, despite nearly 2 million Jews living in New York City. To not call out de Blasio as a dangerous anti-Semite is a farce.
Laureen Lipsky is a pro-Israel advocate living in New York and the founder of “Taking Back the Narrative.”