Last week in Brooklyn, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that hate crimes, especially against our Jewish neighbors, are on the rise in the city and that the political right is responsible. His blame game is a lie, and only meant to further his presidential pipedreams.
The Mayor and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill announced the latest crime figures, which showed most crimes continuing to decline. One notable exception was a 64 percent increase in hate crimes from January through May, compared to the same months last year. In 2018 there were 112, compared to 184 of these hate crimes this year, 60 percent of which were anti-Semitic.
After batting down any suggestion of anti-Semitism on the left, de Blasio proceeded to say, “The violent threat, the threat that is ideological, is very much from the right.” I guess the mayor conveniently forgets the words of anti-Semitism by his progressive allies like Brooklynite Linda Sarsour and Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Obviously, both the far-right and far-left have, in words and actions, contributed to the unfortunate rise of hate. The mayor saying the far-right is the cause of the 64 percent increase in hate crimes here while exonerating his far-left buddies is a crass attempt to help his quixotic presidential campaign by blaming President Trump and the right for everything that is wrong. Of course he can’t condemn Sarsour or Omar, lest he risk losing their support.
Let’s begin with de Blasio’s Brooklyn neighbor Linda Sarsour, who has been a left-wing political activist and was the executive director of the Arab-American Association of New York, based in Bay Ridge. This is a woman who penned an op-ed titled “New Progressive Era Still Politics As Usual Regarding Israel.” In the op-ed, she criticized New York City Democrats for standing “with a handful of political elites to show unwavering support for Israel” against terrorist attacks from Hamas.
In October 2015, Sarsour posted on her twitter account a photo of a Palestinian boy preparing to throw a rock at Israeli soldiers and called it “The definition of courage.” How the mayor does not think promoting violence by the next generation does not lead to more hate is beyond me. Perhaps it would ruin his chances of getting Sarsour to endorse him for president.
Further, after Queens Councilman Rory Lancman — who is now running for District Attorney in his borough — responded to Sarsour, stating, “Attacking Jews at their homes, schools, supermarkets, cafes, buses, roads, synagogues and Seder tables is barbarous, and enlisting children to commit those acts is even more so,” she responded with “The Zionist trolls are out to play.” But, according to de Blasio, it is only the right that promotes violence and anti-Semitism.
To Sarsour, it is not her own words that harm race relations and cause bad blood, it is our NYPD. At an anti-police protest in December 2015, Sarsour was arrested. Video shows one of her fellow protestors yelling in the face of a police officer “Nobody looks at you like a hero, just a racist.” It also shows Sarsour chanting about “the violence of racist police.”
No matter how many examples of Sarsour’s radical actions and words are provided, she and the left are innocent of any anti-Semitism, according to de Blasio — it is all President Trump and the right’s fault.
Since de Blasio is running to be the chief executive of the country, I am confident he has been following Congress a bit more. Therefore, he should be well aware of Congresswoman’s Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) attempts to top Sarsour for the most extreme rhetoric against Jewish-Americans and Israel.
In February, Omar tweeted that support for Israel in the United States is “all about the Benjamins” and accused Jewish leaders of having “dual loyalty” to America and Israel. Even Chelsea Clinton, who has a Jewish husband, had to speak up. She tweeted, “We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.”
Of course, the mayor would disagree with the former first daughter because to him, anti-Semitism is only practiced by one party’s elected officials and public figures.
On June 5, a vandal wrote “Kill All Jews” on a mailbox outside of Saint Patrick’s in Bay Ridge. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is even assigning the New York State Police Hate Crimes unit to assist the NYPD in finding the culprit. While borough Democrats and Republicans all condemned this incident, only de Blasio would pin the blame on the right.
The mayor only has to look to his left in Brooklyn and Minnesota to see some who really spread anti-Semitism.
Bob Capano has worked for Brooklyn Republican and Democrat elected officials.
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