In a Sabbath address to Syrian Jews in Brooklyn, New York’s mayor compared Syrian refugees fleeing their homeland to European Jews fleeing the Nazis.
An article in the New York Post says that Mayor Bill de Blasio called upon a “skeptical congregation” of Syrian Jews to welcome Muslim refugees fleeing Syria to New York.
“I know this community understands deeply the pain of any family that must leave a homeland they love because they were forced away by violence and discrimination,” said de Blasio. “When it comes to saving children and families from one of the greatest crises of our times, I remind people to look at history.”
The comparison between Muslim and Jewish refugees was met by uncomfortable murmurs from his audience, with some congregants voicing their contention.
One congregant, whose family fled Syria, disagreed, explaining: “The difference between me coming here in 1991 with my family is that we were kicked out for being Jewish.”
While another, Judy Zarug, said, “I don’t think it’s a fair comparison . . . The Jews never had a history of being destructive.”
The only statement that roused applause from the congregation was when the mayor vowed to protect New York’s Jewish community following the targeted attacks on Jews elsewhere in the world.