New York City mayor and presidential candidate Bill de Blasio claimed this week that the spike in anti-Semitic attacks in his city and beyond can be entirely attributed to the “right-wing movement,” drawing ire even from his fellow Democrats.
What are the details?
According to the New York Post, hate crimes are up 64 percent in The Big Apple from this time last year, and anti-Semitic attacks have risen by 90 percent.
Speaking at a news conference in Brooklyn on Tuesday to address the issue, de Blasio said, “I think the ideological movement that is anti-Semitic is the right-wing movement,” The Post reported.
When a reporter reminded the mayor that anti-Semitism is also rising “on the left in the BDS movement and around the world,” de Blasio dismissed that claim, saying, “I want to be very, very clear, the violent threat, the threat that is ideological is very much from the right.”
BDS calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, and is fueled by Palestinian groups and supported by far-left extremists. The initiative has been endorsed by congressional progressives such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), according to CNN.
New York City Council members on both sides of the political aisle quickly rebuked de Blasio over his comments.
“I don’t agree with the mayor,” Brooklyn Democrat Chaim Deutsch told The Post. “I have not seen any white supremacists coming in here committing these hate crimes.”
Staten Island Republican Joseph Borelli agreed, telling the outlet, “A simple look at where anti-Semitic hate crimes have occurred just disproves this — unless you count central Brooklyn as the home of a vast right-wing conspiracy.”
Borelli added, “Bill de Blasio regularly says stupid things, but this is literally the stupidest effing thing he’s ever said.”
In January, the New York City Council voted to establish The Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, in order to combat the rising problem, The Hill reported. The mayor announced Tuesday that the new office will open this summer, months ahead of its originally planned November effective date.