September 19, 2019

De Blasio Calls Anti-Semitism a ‘Right-Wing Movement’

New York City Mayor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill de Blasio attends a rally against new restrictions on abortion passed by legislatures in eight states including Alabama and Georgia, in New York City, U.S., May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said that anti-Semitism was purely a “right-wing movement” during a June 4 press conference.

De Blasio said, “I think the ideological movement that is anti-Semitic is the right-wing movement.” When a reporter asked him on if left-wing anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide via the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, de Blasio responded, “I want to be very, very clear, the violent threat, the threat that is ideological is very much from the right.”

Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper said in a statement to the Journal, “You cannot properly treat a cancer without a complete diagnosis. The mayor with the world’s largest Jewish population and surging anti-Semitism must recognize that there are three sources of this cancer: far-right, far-left and Islamist extremism.”

Former New York State Assemblyman and Americans Against Anti-Semitism Co-Founder Dov Hikind similarly tweeted, “How do you combat anti-Semitism if you deny its existence? Democrats are desperate to reject the obvious anti-Semitism emanating from the progressive left; they can deny it exists, but it won’t disappear! Hate can come from ALL sides!”

De Blasio’s office did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment.

The New York City mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate’s remarks come as the New York Police Department (NYPD) announced on June 4 that hate crimes have increased by 64 percent in New York City so far in 2019 from the year prior; nearly 60 percent of the recorded hate crimes have targeted Jews.

De Blasio has been critical of the BDS movement, saying on June 2 during New York City’s Celebrate Israel parade, “New York City stands with Israel. We say, ‘Yes to Israel.’ We say, ‘No to BDS.’”