Members of the Jewish community in New York state expressed their outrage that Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo accused them of violating rules against the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus.
“The Jewish community feels they’re being singled out and there’s some element of anti-Semitism,” said The Jewish Voice editor David Ben Hooren, according to The Associated Press (AP) on Oct. 5.
“Not that I agree with it, but that’s the sentiment in the street. Tensions are running high,” Hooren added, referring to Orthodox Jews in the Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods who are outraged because they believe Cuomo is applying double standards against them.
In particular, they point to the riots by members of the leftist Black Lives Matter group, who are not restricted by the authorities from attending mass demonstrations without regard for protective measures or social distancing.
“People are very turned off and very burned out,” said Yosef Hershkop, a Brooklyn Hassidic Jew working in health services. “It’s not like we’re the only people in New York getting COVID [the CCP Virus],” AP quoted.
Cuomo accused Orthodox Jews of fomenting outbreaks of the CCP Virus because of the numerous gatherings, and threatened to close their synagogues if they did not comply with the restrictions.
“Orthodox Jewish gatherings are often very large, and we’ve seen what one person can do,” Cuomo said, adding that he would meet with religious leaders in Orange County.
Officials argue that the large Orthodox Jewish communities in the Brooklyn and Queens districts and a couple of nearby counties are the most affected.
Authorities scheduled the closure of 300 schools in nine areas, home to about half a million people, where some 1,850 cases occurred in four weeks.
The Jewish community is helping to enforce the protective regulations issued during the pandemic.
Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, said that his community “is determined to do whatever is necessary.”
In June both Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio were sued by two Catholic priests and three Orthodox Jewish parishioners in federal court for violating the constitutional rights of religious New Yorkers with their rules against the spread of the CCP Virus.
“Why is a large worship gathering deemed more dangerous than a mass protest, full of shouting, arm-waving people in close proximity to one another?” asked the plaintiffs’ attorney Christopher Ferrara, who is also special counsel for the Thomas More Society, according to National Review.
“It is time to end New York’s experiment in absolute monarchy,” Ferrara added. “We are asking the court to put an end to these unconstitutional executive orders and their prejudicial enforcement” he said.