An Orthodox Jewish reporter named Jacob Kornbluh was assaulted by Hasidic protesters in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. Kornbluh said he was called “Nazi” and “Hitler” by his fellow Jews.
Kornbluh tweeted, “I was just brutally assaulted, hit in the head, and kicked at by an angry crowd of hundreds of community members of the Boro Park protest — while yelling at me “Nazi” and “Hitler” —after Heshy Tischler recognized me and ordered the crowd to chase me down the street.”
Heshy Tischler is a local Orthodox activist who opposes the Covid-19 restrictions. According to NY1 News he had earlier said, “I’m telling you right now. This is not a protest. Get it out of your heads. This is a war. And (New York City Mayor) Mr. de Blasio and Cuomo started it. So now I have my soldiers.”
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The reporter told The Daily Beast, “I was standing there observing the scene on the sidelines, standing next to some families. I didn’t draw any attention, I was just looking at my phone observing the scene when Heshy Tischler recognized me, and directed a crowd to come towards me.”
Both New York and Israel are suffering from the same problem of spiking Corona Virus rates in the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities. Israeli news broadcasts are filled with films of large groups of Hasidim celebrating the current holiday of Sukkot together in violation of the country’s current Covid-19 lockdown. Hasidim are seen singing and dancing together in the hundreds at parties.
They have attacked the police when authorities attempt to enforce the closure. They have also attacked Israeli journalists covering the events. And today it was reported on Israel Channel 12 that even an innocent doctor was attacked after pulling her car over to check for directions on her phone. Apparently some of the nearby Ultra-Orthodox people mistakenly thought that she was filming them.
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo was forced to deal with the situation by closing schools and ordering a limit on the number of people allowed to gather in indoor spaces, including in places of worship. The Hasidim in Brooklyn protested the move, seeing it as an attack on their community and utterly failing to acknowledge reality.
Both in Israel and in New York there are serious concerns of what will happen on the Simchat Tora Holiday to be celebrated this weekend. Because of complicated issues that add an extra day to holidays outside of the Holly Land, in Israel the holiday will be celebrated over the Sabbath, Friday night through Saturday. In America it will be observed from Saturday night through Sunday.
The holiday is observed with huge celebrations held day and night where large numbers of people gather to sing and dance together with Tora scrolls. If the Hasidim do not observe social distancing rules this year it could lead to an explosion in new Corona cases.
Jacob Kornbluh tried in vain to explain these facts to the protestors. He told NY1 News, “I’m trying to do my job in explaining them what the data shows, how serious this problem is, but also how to deal with it. And if I can save even one life, let the hate come at me.”
Kornbluh stated that he tried to reason with the protesters saying, “I’m trying to do my job in explaining them what the data shows, how serious this problem is, but also how to deal with it. And if I can save even one life, let the hate come at me.”
I was just brutally assaulted, hit in the head, and kicked at by an angry crowd of hundreds of community members of the Boro Park protest — while yelling at me “Nazi” and “Hitler” —after Heshy Tischler recognized me and ordered the crowd to chase me down the street
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) October 8, 2020