In falsely blaming “right wing” anti-Semitism for the rise in attacks against NYC’s Jewish community, contrary to the evidence, de Blasio has shamefully placed his national political ambitions ahead of his sworn duty as mayor to protect the people in his own back yard.
New York City Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio (D) is facing a wave of criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike over absurd and easily disprovable claims about anti-Semitism he made Tuesday at a press conference on the rise of hate crimes in NYC.
The New York Post reports:
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that anti-Semitism is a “right-wing movement” — while rejecting a claim that the left plays any role in discriminating against Jews.
“I think the ideological movement that is anti-Semitic is the right-wing movement,” de Blasio said at a Brooklyn press conference Tuesday about the increase of hate crimes in New York City. Hate crimes against all minority groups are up 64% compared to this time last year. Anti-Semitic incidents have spiked by 90%.
De Blasio said he did not agree with a claim by a reporter that there is also rising anti-Semitism “on the left in the BDS movement and around the world.” The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is a largely left-wing campaign to ban Israeli products.
“I want to be very, very clear, the violent threat, the threat that is ideological is very much from the right,” de Blasio said, adding that the perpetrators trace their history back to Nazism and fascism.
I set the video to start at the BDS question, which led to de Blasio’s answer.
Oh, he was “very, very clear” alright. Very wrong.
City Councilman Chaim Deutsch, a Jewish Democrat from Brooklyn, did not buy what de Blasio attempted to sell. “I don’t agree with the mayor. I have not seen any white supremacists coming in here committing these hate crimes,” he told the Post.
He repeated his comments on Twitter Wednesday:
Hate knows no political party – it comes from both sides of the aisle. On a national level, we see neo-Nazis on the far right & hateful, anti-Israel sentiments on the far (& not so far) left.
Locally, there is zero evidence of far right white supremacists committing these acts. https://t.co/9Xtvll3NY3
— Councilman Deutsch (@ChaimDeutsch) June 5, 2019
“Bill de Blasio regularly says stupid things, but this is literally the stupidest effing thing he’s ever said,” Councilman Joe Borelli, a Republican, said according to the Post. Borelli, per the Post, also suggested that it was clear by where the attacks were happening in Brooklyn that these couldn’t have been “right wing” crimes unless you believed the area was a haven for conservative Republicans (it’s not).
Borelli and Deutsch are touching on a crucial point on this issue that de Blasio wants everyone to ignore. Why? The rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes is mostly an issue of African-American perpetrators attacking Jewish people, and that inconvenient fact destroys local and national political narratives that the mayor would like to craft about what’s happening in his city.
Mayor de Blasio, like the Democratic party nationally, would love nothing more than for everyone to believe President Trump is to blame for the alarming hate crime rise in the city. In doing so, it sets de Blasio up as the hero swooping in to save the Jewish community from Trump, who he paints as the villain (sound familiar?).
In a recent spate of hate crime attacks on Hasidic Jews in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, virtually all the perpetrators have been African-American, according to local activists, elected officials, and victims.
For example, District Leader Geoffrey Davis, an elected official in New York’s 43rd assembly district, said the attacks are due to black racism against Jews. Davis, who is African-American, called the violence “a misplaced anger by black people who have a tendency of lashing out at Jewish people under the assumption that they are creating havoc in our community — which they are not.”
Nonetheless, one Hasidic hate-crime victim said all three of his attackers were African-American. Mendy, a Crown Heights resident who asked that his last name not be used, described walking down the street late at night when a black man punched him in the face “quite hard” and ran off with two other men.
The racial makeup of the perpetrators of the hate crimes does not appear in question. For example, City Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who represents part of Brooklyn, confirmed that most of the Crown Heights attacks were by African-Americans, and community activist Rabbi Yaacov Behrman, director of Operation Survival, said that of at least two dozen cases of anti-Hasidic attacks he’s aware of in the last year, all but two were by blacks. (The other two were by people of indeterminate race.) Behrman complained that the media blames the spike in hate crimes “on the far right” whereas locally people understand the attacks in the local context.
As to de Blasio’s belief that anti-Semitism is not on the rise in the Democratic party, Jewish Democrat and former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind took to the Twitter machine Wednesday to tell the mayor – and the Democratic party on the whole – to get real:
How do you combat antisemitism if you deny its existence?
Democrats are desperate to reject the obvious antisemitism emanating from the progressive left; they can deny it exists, but it won’t disappear!
Hate can come from ALL sides!https://t.co/3YFkWUVsYC
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) June 5, 2019
Hikind is right. Contra to de Blasio’s claims, the rise of anti-Semitism in the Democratic party is genuine. We’ve seen it with the election to and the party-wide embrace of two new Democratic members of the U.S. House who have made no secret of their support for the anti-Israel BDS movement, and who routinely spout anti-Semitic tropes and associate with anti-Semitic figures.
And speaking of associating with anti-Semitic figures, there’s also the issue of the Congressional Black Caucus and their longtime close association with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Also, freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) formed a disturbing political alliance in February with British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose anti-Semitic history has been well-documented here at Legal Insurrection.
There are many more examples, but you get the point.
Strangely enough, de Blasio sang a different tune on the right and left wing anti-Semitism back in November. Watch below as he acknowledges it happens on both sides:
— Boo Boo Media (@askbooboo) November 2, 2018
While the context of his remarks is unclear, what is clear is that several things have happened since the media filmed the video that likely caused de Blasio to flip flop on the issue: the election of Reps. Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Ilhan Omar (MN) to Congress. Violent attacks on Jews – mostly by African-American men – began to spike. De Blasio announced his presidential candidacy.
It would appear from de Blasio’s calculated stances over the last month that his presidential ambitions have put him in the position of siding with national Democrats who have largely turned a blind eye to the rising anti-Semitism within their ranks and pretend that Trump and right-wing Republicans are to blame for anti-Semitism in America.
In addition to that, de Blasio is blatantly dishonest with Jewish Democrats and Republicans alike in NYC by refusing to acknowledge that the dramatic spike in anti-Semitic attacks in the city this year stems from crimes committed by African-American men and not white perps yelling “this is MAGA country!”
The city’s Jewish residents are genuinely seeking solutions to these problems because they want to keep their families and communities safe. De Blasio, on the other hand, is playing a hazardous game of political football in trying to turn the issue into Trump vs. de Blasio because he wants to get elected president.
After de Blasio announced his candidacy last month, Trump tweeted that the mayor was “considered the worst mayor in the U.S.” I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but in light of the con he’s trying to pull on New York City’s Jewish community, de Blasio definitely should be a serious contender for that distinction.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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