Bill de Blasio apologizes for his tweet to Jewish leaders in New York

Seeking to drum up support in his race for a congressional seat from influential Orthodox Jewish leaders in Brooklyn, Bill de Blasio is now apologizing for singling out a Williamsburg cult in a 2020 tweet for organizing large rallies — including including a crowded funeral – during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I apologized for the Williamsburg tweet. I want to apologize again,” the ex-mayor told Homodia after a Sunday meeting with Orthodox Jewish leaders in Borough Park.

In April 2020, hundreds of Orthodox Jews gathered in the streets near the intersection of Rutledge Street and Bedford Avenue to pay their respects at the funeral of Rabbi Chaim Mertz.

The rally took place at a time of high COVID spread, deaths and hospitalizations. De Blasio was furious.

“Something absolutely unacceptable happened at Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the midst of this pandemic,” de Blasio wrote on Twitter.

De Blasio called the tweet “tough love.”

“When I heard I went there myself to make sure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw WILL NOT be tolerated as long as we fight the coronavirus,” he said. declared.

De Blasio is seeking to win a seat in the 10th congressional district that stretches from lower Manhattan, through much of Park Slope and other parts of Brownstone Brooklyn, then takes part of Borough Park.

“It was in a moment of passion and pain about what was happening in the city,” de Blasio said after Sunday’s meeting with Jewish leaders.

“But it was a mistake. I shouldn’t have done it.

The former two-term mayor stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic was “very difficult” and that he had to make “a lot of tough decisions” as thousands of New Yorkers died from the killer virus.

“I’m sure every decision was not the right one,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio’s “tough love” at the time drew huge backlash not only from segments of the Orthodox Jewish community, but also from groups such as the Anti-Defamation League that monitor anti-Semitism.

But de Blasio, who has deep ties to leaders of Brooklyn’s Jewish community during his 20 years as an alderman, public attorney and two terms as mayor, urged them to “remember all the ‘story’ of his record, including actions he took that they liked.

Hasidic Jews
Hundreds of Hasidic Jews gathered in the streets for the funeral of Rabbi Chaim Mertz in April 2020.

The former mayor potentially faces a slew of 14 other Democratic primary candidates for the open seat. Besides de Blasio, other candidates in the Democratic primary for DC 10 include: Representative Mondaire Jones, who currently represents DC 17 in the northern suburbs of New York; Brooklyn Congresswoman Jo Anne Simon, Lower East Side Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Lower Manhattan Congresswoman Yuh-Line Niou, former Brooklyn District Attorney and Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, former House of Impeachment attorney Dan Goldman and army veteran and anti-communist activist Yan Xiong, among others.

The former mayor had no immediate comment if there are any further regrets or apologies he will make as he rushes for votes in the largely progressive district.

The meeting with Borough Park religious leaders was requested by an ally of Bobov’s Hasidic movement, Yitzchok Fleischer, according to Jewish Week.

Big COVID Gathering
The former mayor said his tweet expressed concern over what was happening in the city.

Fleischer said he and Hasidic activists in Bobov “will probably support him next week.”

Fleischer said de Blasio’s filing also includes funding childcare vouchers for yeshivas in 2015, a move popular with the ultra-Orthodox community.

Fleischer also said de Blasio’s left-progressive values ​​came through during the meeting, but that “we want to give him a chance.”

“We made it clear to him that we are not progressive…Congress is [elected] every two years. If he does something against the community, believe me, in two years people won’t vote for him,” he told Jewish Week.

New York Post

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