Get BlazeTV
News

NYC Orthodox Jews protest Cuomo's COVID-19 shutdowns with festive Trump rally: 'There will be civil disobedience'

'It's political and everybody knows it'

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Orthodox Jews held a massive protest in Brooklyn on Wednesday night, rallying against COVID-19 restrictions enacted by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) while also showing strong support for President Donald Trump by holding a rally.

On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed new shutdowns of all nonessential businesses and schools in nine ZIP codes in an effort to tackle the rising number of coronavirus cases. On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the "Cluster Action Initiative" to "address COVID-19 hot spots that have cropped up in Brooklyn, Queens, and Broome, Orange and Rockland counties."

The order introduces new restrictions in areas "with the highest concentration of COVID cases and the surrounding communities." The governor's initiative does not take into account hospitalizations from COVID-19 or coronavirus-related deaths. There were eight COVID-19 deaths in all of New York state on Tuesday, according to Cuomo.

There are three threat levels, the highest being the "Red Zone," which triggers major restrictions:

  • Houses of Worship: 25% capacity, 10 people maximum
  • Mass Gatherings: Prohibited
  • Businesses: Only essential businesses open
  • Dining: Takeout only
  • Schools: Closed, remote only

The new restrictions go into effect for a minimum of 14 days.

Areas that have large populations of Orthodox Jews were declared to be a Red Zone by Cuomo, shutting down businesses and schools, plus heavily restricting places of worship. Hundreds of Orthodox Jewish demonstrators gathered in Brooklyn on Tuesday and Wednesday to protest the draconian measures.

On Monday, police attempted to forcefully break up a large group of people celebrating the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in the Crown Heights neighborhood.

Demonstrators, who were mostly maskless and not practicing social distancing, burned a pile of face masks on Tuesday.

Demonstrators argued that their community is being unfairly punished, pointing out the hypocrisy of Cuomo and de Blasio being supportive of Black Lives Matter protests with thousands of people while also shutting down schools and businesses.

Protest organizer Sammy Gross said the protest was to expose the double standard.

"The hypocrisy that's going on here. People can go rioting, looting, but they're singling out our community when people want to go to our houses of worship. That's wrong," Gross said of the Jewish community's message to Cuomo.

One protester told Daily Caller reporter Jorge Ventura that Cuomo and de Blasio "want to destroy" the Orthodox Jews' freedom of religion.

Another demonstrator said, "Let's be very clear, the most important thing for us is our children's' education."

"There will be civil disobedience," one man proclaimed. "Because that is our right."

There was also a festive pro-Trump rally where people wore Trump face masks, and waved "TRUMP 2020" flags as they sang and danced.

Heshy Fried claimed that the area was being targeted by Cuomo because of its support of President Donald Trump.

"The real reason, what's going on, is that this is Trump country,' said Fried. "All the areas they are trying to close down ... are like 90% voting for Trump. It's political and everybody knows it."

There was a protest led by Heshy Tischler, "a talk radio host and candidate for Brooklyn City Council known for his outspoken opposition to wearing face masks," according to Newsweek.

"I'm going to take these children, these soldiers, these future leaders. These are my people," Tischler told the crowd. "We're going to create an army. We are at war with you, Mr. de Blasio. Here is my army. We are at war! You are my soldiers!"

At one point, Tischler reportedly cornered journalist Jacob Kornbluh, the national political reporter for the Jewish Insider, for covering the event.

Kornbluh, who is a Hasidic Jew, claimed that he "brutally assaulted" by the crowd.

"I was just brutally assaulted, hit in the head, and kicked at by an angry crowd of hundreds of community members of the Boro Park protest — while yelling at me 'Nazi' and 'Hitler' —after Heshy Tischler recognized me and ordered the crowd to chase me down the street."

Video shows the mob shouting at Kornbluh, calling him a "moyser," which means "snitch."

One last thing…
Watch TheBlaze live and on demand on any device, anywhere, anytime.
try premium
Exclusive video
All Videos
Watch BlazeTV on your favorite device, anytime, anywhere.
Subscribe Now
Recommended
Daily News Highlights

Get the news that matters most delivered directly to your inbox.