Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas is cross with New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, which puts him in good company, including a greater part of the population of New York City. However, Cruz has a particular issue with De Blasio that he would like the Justice Department to look into, according to Fox News.
“Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called out New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Twitter Tuesday after the Democrat posted a message about Jews in his city supposedly violating social distancing policies. De Blasio was blasted just weeks ago for tweeting about the city’s entire Jewish community after an incident involving members of one Hasidic sect. Cruz suggested that the U.S. Department of Justice investigate de Blasio for targeting a religious population.”
The specific tweet that roused Sen Cruz’s ire read:
“Earlier today the NYPD shut down a Yeshiva conducting classes with as many as 70 children. I can’t stress how dangerous this is for our young people. We’re issuing a Cease and Desist Order and will make sure we keep our communities and our kids safe.”
To which Sen Cruz replied:
“The next time NYC’s mayor sends out a gleeful tweet about sending cops after Jews, the DOJ should investigate to make sure he’s not violating constitutionally guaranteed religious liberties. Actually, they should have done it after the last one.”
De Blasio came under criticism before for sending cops to break up a funeral of a beloved Jewish rabbi and then issuing a warning on Twitter that singled out the Jewish community that he was coming after them for violating edicts against gathering in large groups due to the pandemic, according to the New York Post. The Post article blamed the local police for letting things get out of hand and allowing for breaches of social distancing rule.
More importantly, a wave of anti-Semitic hate crimes has rocked New York City on De Blasio’s watch. Thus far De Blasio has been ineffective in stopping the crime wave and bringing the perpetrators to justice.
A debate has erupted in the media over whether or not De Blasio is personally anti-Semitic. Most media outlets suggest that he is not, however, the Forward Times, an important Jewish newspaper, has accused the mayor of stoking anti-Semitism. The media, according to the account, is complicit in spreading a meme that Orthodox Jews are, in some way, spreading the coronavirus.
De Blasio, who briefly ran for president last year, has come under increasing criticism for allowing New York City to regress to the crime and homeless ridden state that it suffered in during the 1970s and 1980s. Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg, De Blasio’s predecessors in Gracie Mansion, had cleaned up New York, to a great extent, reducing street crime and making America’s largest city a more attractive place to live. De Blasio has reversed many of those reforms to a great extent.
De Blasio’s office was very quick to respond to Cruz, arguing that the mayor was just performing law enforcement functions and protecting New Yorkers from the coronavirus pandemic. De Blasio’s press secretary even made a snide reference to something Cruz said about “New York values” during the 2016 campaign. Even though the remark was aimed at then private citizen Donald Trump, some on the left accused Cruz of being anti-Semitic.
Even so, De Blasio’s singling out of the Jewish community is just one example of how the lockdown orders being enacted in a number of states and localities in the blue part of America is causing tension between elected officials and citizens. De Blasio’s fixation on Jews, though, has taken on a particular dimension. Many have noted that he has not spoken the same way about New York’s other ethnic communities.
There is no news as to whether the Justice Department has responded to Sen. Cruz’s request to perform an investigation.
It should be noted that New York City has suffered more than its share of coronavirus infections and deaths, mainly because of the population density of the city. Like many public officials, De Blasio was slow to react to the pandemic. As late as early March, the Mayor declared, “I’m encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives and get out on the town despite Coronavirus.”
In retrospect, that may have been bad advice.