Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, now running to represent the 10th District in Congress, is asking Brooklyn’s Jewish community for forgiveness over a tweet he sent out at the height of the Covid pandemic which singled out Orthodox Jews.
“My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups,” de Blasio tweeted in April 2020. “This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.”
He later expressed regret for the tone of the tweet, saying: “I regret if the way I said it in any way gave people the feeling of being treated the wrong way.”
Now, de Blasio needs the support of Orthodox Jews in the 10th District, which includes a large chunk of Boro Park.
At a meeting this week with Bobover askanim intended to shore up support for his congressional run, de Blasio was asked again about the tweet.
“It was a mistake and I shouldn’t have done it,” de Blasio said. “It was a moment of passion and pain over what was happening in the city.”
The meeting between de Blasio and askanim was arranged by Yitzchok Fleischer, a longtime de Blasio confidante who indicated that the chassidus is likely to endorse the former mayor.
“Most people are upset with him,” Fleischer told New York Jewish Week. “As a mayor, he did a lot of things we didn’t agree with. Most of the people in Borough Park don’t know what he accomplished for us in the City Council,” including funding child care vouchers for yeshivas back in 2015.
“We told him clearly that we’re not progressive,” Fleischer said. “He knows that. I hope nothing is going to come up with that. The Congress is [elected] every two years. If he does something against the community, believe me, in two years, people won’t vote for him again.”
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)