New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to arrest hundreds of Hasidic Jews at a funeral gathering due to a lack of social distancing. Rabbi Chaim Mertz passed away and several hundred Hasidic mourners came out to pay last respects. (Mostly) everyone captured on videotape was outside and masks on. But there was not much physical space in-between each person. The funeral took place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
NYPD were dispatched to the funeral to disperse the crowd. Local news reports say that nobody was issued a summons or arrested. NYC Mayor De Blasio scolded the Jewish community on Twitter, saying that large gatherings will only lead to more deaths. De Blasio also labeled the funeral gathering as “absolutely” unacceptable.
The World Jewish Congress announced that they will censure the New York City Mayor. WJC President Ronald S. Lauder issued a statement that reads partly as follows: “…But to blame the entire Jewish community is the type of stereotyping that is dangerous and unacceptable at any time.”
An interesting point to note is how certain groups of people have been treated during the crisis compared to others. De Blasio and his wife didn’t mind participating in the big photo op with a large number of nurses not practicing social distancing. Nor did they mind not wearing any type of PPE themselves for the photoshoot. De Blasio also gave a pass to those witnessing the Blue Angels flyover. Large crowds with no social distancing didn’t seem to be a problem there.
There was, however, a basement party in Brooklyn with 40 people where several got arrested. In a mostly black area. Not to allude to racism here, but if the mayor were a conservative, the racism card would be promptly laid at his feet.
New Yorkers appear to be growing tired of the virtual house-arrest that they are currently under. The natural rights of human beings are violated every single day during this virus outbreak. And when religion becomes encroached upon… now you have a very complicated issue with worldwide ramifications. If any of the Hasidic Jews were arrested at the funeral, the whole world have taken notice.
As several other states pledge to re-open immediately… New York appears to be in a holding pattern of sorts. Still trying to enforce draconian rules. Granted, the health issue in New York is peculiar and devastating. But that might be due to poor healthcare infrastructure and not necessarily human behavior outside of the hospitals.