The New York Board of Rabbis on Thursday called this week’s protests by Borough Park Chasidim against the state’s and the city’s coronavirus restrictions “shameful” and asked the Jewish community to follow the health guidelines.
On Wednesday night, Haredi reporter Jacob Kornbluh and video photographer Berish Getz were attacked by a crowd of an estimated 500 Chasidim at a protest led by radio personality and community activist Heshy Tischler (Haredi Reporters Kornbluh, Getz, Assaulted, Called ‘Moysers’ by Chasidim in Protest Led by Heshy Tischler).
NY City Councilman Kalman Yeger who represents Borough Park and Midwood tweeted Thursday: “I’m disgusted by the attack in the early morning hours on a member of our community. There is never ever a reason to raise a hand to a fellow human. We are better than that. I hope the attackers realize how wrong this was. NYPD will investigate violent crimes in our community.”
The New York Board of Rabbis is an organization of Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist rabbis in New York State, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
The Board of Rabbis proclaimed: “We cannot defend individuals in our Jewish community who demonstrate a blatant disregard for the COVID-19 health protocols and endanger their lives and those of other people. COVID-19 is a non-discriminating disease that must be fought by all people following the rules without exception.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday that the attacks by the protesters were “just unacceptable,” and warned that “there need to be consequences for that.” (De Blasio on Kornbluh Attack: ‘There Need to be Consequences for That’)
Referring to the weak response of the local police to the demonstrations, the mayor said: “I do expect a clearer response going forward. I think there were some issues yesterday honestly in terms of both the NYPD’s approach and the approach of the city’s legal team understanding the state guidance and getting it right, once and for all. That has to be corrected; we need a much clearer approach. And I expect that to be corrected today before anything that happens this evening.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday tweeted that the hot Zip restrictions will continue, seeing as “the positivity rate in the hotspot ZIP codes is 5.8%,” compared with the “statewide positivity rate excluding these ZIPs which is 1.01%.”
The governor enclosed a list of the red spots in New York State, which shows two Brooklyn zip codes in the top five:
The positivity rate in the hotspot ZIP codes is 5.8%.
The statewide positivity rate excluding these ZIPs is 1.01%.
We are taking quick action to respond to the clusters & stop the spread.
Here are the 20 hotspot ZIP codes in Queens, Brooklyn, Orange and Rockland Counties: pic.twitter.com/WtRLRjaKit
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 8, 2020