New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ignited controversy in a series of tweets calling out the Jewish community for holding large gatherings.
BuzzFeed News defended de Blasio, calling the mayor “clumsy.”
BuzzFeed News headlined the tweet controversy, “Bill De Blasio Is Not Anti-Semitic. But His Dumb Tweet Feeds A Dangerous Idea.”
De Blasio tweeted a warning to the Jewish community to not hold large public gatherings after the city broke up a public funeral of a Jewish Orthodox rabbi in Brooklyn that broke social distancing rules.
The mayor tweeted, “My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: The time for warnings has passed.”
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. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 29, 2020
His tweet was widely criticized as anti-Semitic because he publicly criticized the Jewish community and singled them out on social media.
BuzzFeed News defended the mayor and wrote that his tweet was “not anti-Semitic” because it was an example of de Blasio’s “clumsy” nature.
It also cited his “tight relationship” with the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in New York City and how this “closeness” has led to multiple controversies as the city’s mayor. The website claimed that de Blasio “inelegantly” and narrowly defined the Jewish community. It concluded that his “inartful few words” stirred up the controversy.
Photo by Gage Skidmore