NEW YORK — Many in New York City communities have been challenging authorities due to what appears to be a disparity in enforcement of social distance. The argument has been that law enforcement have been strict against blacks and hispanics, while failing to do any enforcement towards Jews who persistently challenge social distance regulations to help curve the COVID-19 pandemic. This is more so in the hardest hit area in the nation where an estimated 17,000 people have died due to the coronavirus.
Tuesday night marked the largest gathering in New York City since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, with an estimated 2,500 Orthodox Jews crowding the streets of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The gathering was to mourn the death of a rabbi who died due to the coronavirus.
Of the thousands gathered, it appears that only 12 summons were issued sparking even more outrage due to the appearance of preferential treatment. “If this gathering was in the middle of Black Harlem or Spanish Harlem the headlines would read community beaten and arrested by NYPD due to social gathering… Jews get a free pass..”, Janet James said to news sources in Manhattan.
Unfortunately, and although by far the largest, this is not the first time large gatherings have taken place by Jews and not just in New York City, but also in other areas of the state. Leaving many to wonder if their are double standards on law enforcement handling Jews in comparison to the rest of the population, and what many believe is blatant preferential treatment and relaxed rules for Jews in New York.
Yesterday, for the first the time Mayor De Blasio showed faces in claiming that social distance regulations applies to everyone equally and Jews are not the exception. Some Jewish leaders are calling the mayor out and demanding that De Blasio apologize for asking them public to do their part in helping society reduce the pandemic, and reminding them that summons and arrest could be a consequence for their actions if they continue to place themselves, first responders and the public endanger. “They feel it is offensive to call out Jews, despite demonstrations that show they have little regard for public health”, said Karl Smith from the Harlem area in Manhattan.
Not all Jews are complicit in disobeying social distancing, and it appears to be mostly concentrated with members of Orthodox Jews’ in the population.