New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing new allegations of antisemitism after he threatened to cut off public assistance to yeshivas, or religious seminaries, this weekend, and added that some Jews had “never complied” with coronavirus rules.
New York CBS affiliate WLNY reported:
As enforcement ramps up in the city’s COVID-19 cluster zones, the governor again made it clear on a telephone conference call on Thursday who he felt the problem was.
“Some of the complexity in the enforcement here, especially with members of the ultra Orthodox community. They have never complied with the rules,” Cuomo said.
The governor’s words came a day after he announced he would withhold funding from local governments that do not enforce the rules at schools, including yeshivas.
“If the local government does not effectively enforce the law, we will withhold funds from the local government… If they don’t, we will withhold funding from the government. I don’t like to do that. Budgets are tough all across the board. I don’t know how else to get them to do the enforcement they need to do. So, hopefully that will motivate them because nothing else I have done has motivated them – not my rapier wit, not my sense of humor, not my guilt, not my blame, not my admonition, and not my pleas. Maybe money works,” Cuomo said.
Some groups were outraged, saying that the governor was invoking medieval prejudices against Jews, a claim Cuomo’s office strongly rejected, citing “a long history of friendship with the community that dates back to his father.”
Others noted the relative silence of liberal Jewish groups:
A lot of Jewish groups which go out of their way to criticize what they say are implicit & subtle anti-Semitic tropes in normal statements by Republicans are oddly quiet about New York's leftwing governor ranting about Jews, disease, and money. https://t.co/wvLF4Z26zy
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) October 25, 2020
Cuomo and other Democratic officials, such as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, have evoked the ire of the Orthodox Jewish community by singling Jews out for criticism and enforcement during the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month, Cuomo threatened to close synagogues if Jews did not comply with shutdown orders targeted at specific ZIP codes. Jewish leaders pointed out that other communities had higher infection rates.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.