NEW YORK (VINnews/Sandy Eller) – In a scathing editorial published Thursday night, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal slammed both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio for their unduly harsh treatment of the Orthodox Jewish community during the ongoing pandemic.
The editorial noted that the term “Haredim” means those who tremble, but that sense of awe is reserved for G-d, not politicians, in the Jewish community, a reality that has become abundantly clear over the past few months. Taking Cuomo to task for capping houses of worship to ten congregants no matter their size and criticizing de Blasio for shutting down a Jewish funeral while attending a massive Black Lives Matter protest and evicting Hasidic children from playgrounds, the editorial notes that enforcement and restrictions seemed to based more on politics than on science.
“New York’s Orthodox Jews have reason to feel scapegoated. Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Governor treat them as perpetrators, not victims, of Covid-19 and act as there are the only communities with rising infection rates. Some minority communities in Queens boast even higher numbers.”
Cuomo’s allegations that the Haredi community has never followed COVID guidelines and de Blasio’s protections of religious protests have only added fuel to the fire. And while large gatherings and rising infection rates are clearly problematic during a pandemic, the threats, scapegoating and inflexibility emanating from both Albany and City Hall have done much to destroy any credibility Cuomo and de Blasio may have had in the Jewish community.
The editorial concludes by advising “If Messrs. de Blasio and Cuomo want cooperation in addressing Covid-19, they out to start by treating Haredim as citizens, not criminals.”