Boisbriand, Outremont, Brooklyn, Queens, Israel: Hasidics refuse to submit to laws intended to fight the pandemic.
Defying health authorities, more than 1,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews from Boisbriand took part in a religious rally on Saturday that resulted in multiple tickets and one arrest. Some of the foreign participants are said to be from New York.
Outremont, one of Montreal’s smallest boroughs, with a large Hasidic community, has the highest number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents. One of the community leaders ensures that Jewish fundamentalists from Outremont respect the anti-coronavirus rules. However, on Monday, police officers dispersed a gathering of around 100 ultra-Orthodox Jews in a synagogue in Outremont without issuing a statement of offense. Why?
The City and State of New York, with an ultra-Orthodox Jewish population much larger than that of Quebec, face the same difficulties with this community closed in on itself for which the authority of the rabbis takes precedence over the state authority.
To hinder the development of a second wave of COVID-19, New York authorities have imposed strict containment rules in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. The measure sparked violent Hasidic protests … pro-Trump.
The main instigator of these protests, Heshy Tischler, has just been arrested and charged with inciting riot and illegal detention in connection with the assault on journalist Jacob Kornbluh. The Hasidics blame him for his presentations on their failure to comply with health guidelines, which they say prompted the authorities to enact the new restrictions.
Kornbluh, an Orthodox Jew, was “brutally assaulted, hit on the head and kicked” by some 300 Hasidic Jews at a protest in Brooklyn. The crowd called him “Nazi”, “Hitler” and “moyser”, a Yiddish term for a snitch, a Jew accused of denouncing his co-religionists to the authorities.
Orthodox Jewish protesters, in traditional dress, carrying huge blue ‘Trump 2020’ banners, burned masks and accused Democrats Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo of scapegoating them for the recent spike in COVID-19 infections.
Agitator Tischler said the fact that Trump was cured of COVID-19 inspired him to protest the new restrictions. Addressing the protesters, Tischler, who called New York’s mayor “Adolf de Blasio,” exclaimed, “We will retaliate. This is our city, our neighborhoods, our country. ”
Tischler, a pro-Trump non-Hasidic Jew who served time in prison for immigration fraud, hopes to get their vote for the city councilor position he covets. He claims Orthodox Jews are targeted by Governor Cuomo because of their support for President Trump.
Neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, as well as villages in New York State that have a large ultra-Orthodox population, are hit hard by the second wave of the pandemic. With 2.8% of the state’s population, they have 17.6% of all confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The ultra-Orthodox locality of Kiryas Joel, (a bit like American Boisbriand), which has some 25,000 inhabitants and some forty synagogues, has a coronavirus contamination rate of nearly 30%, highest in the whole of the United States.
These events reminded me of recent statements by President Emmanuel Macron denouncing what he calls “Islamist separatism”, the ghettoization of neighborhoods, where populations are concentrated according to their origins and their religion.
What if fundamentalist Muslims demand the same exemptions and the same tolerances that are accorded to Orthodox Jews? It seems to me that the Trudeauist multiculturalism, embraced by the Quebec left, calls for such a plea. Should we not treat the prescriptions of the imams and the Koran with those of the rabbis and the Torah with the same respect?