Amid a climate of anger in the Orthodox Jewish community in New York City over Governor Andrew Cuomo’s intensified coronavirus restrictions, a Queens congresswoman issued a stark warning on Friday against rising antisemitic bigotry.
Referencing the slew of racist invective directed against the Asian American community at the start of the pandemic, Democratic Rep. Grace Meng — whose Queens district includes a large Jewish community — emphasized the importance of countering discrimination aimed at any community because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’ve experienced how one community can be singled out and unjustly blamed for COVID-19,” Meng said in a statement on Thursday. “Bigotry and violence have been directed toward the Asian American community, and we need to prevent that hate from continuing to spread toward my constituents in the Jewish community in Queens. That begins by not blaming COVID-19 transmission on any one group of people, but instead on a set of behaviors.”
Meng noted that her constituents “in the Jewish community, and many throughout our region, are doing their utmost to follow the rules to keep our city safe. The actions of those not following the rules, amplified by news reports, should not be conflated with the actions of the many who are following the rules.”
“[T]here should never be blanket discrimination against the entire Jewish population of New York,” Meng declared.