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Mayor de Blasio’s Double Standard: Police Social Distancing, Abandon ‘Begging’ NYPD

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been pleading with residents to practice social distancing for months amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and has even gone so far as to encourage them to turn in their neighbors or anyone for that matter who violates the rules.

When there was a Jewish funeral for a well-respected rabbi in Brooklyn, De Blasio blasted the group of mourners and threatened them with arrest.

“I have instructed the NYPD to proceed with immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period,” he said in a tweet posted on May, 28.

Despite the backlash he faced for singling out the Jews, he doubled down, defended his earlier statement and again called out a “Yeshiva”, a Jewish school, in a tweet posted on May, 18. The NYPD and the Mayor “shut down” the school for holding classes and issued “a Cease and Desist Order.”

When riots broke out this week across New York City, as thousands of people gathered in the streets in response to the tragic death of the unarmed black man, George Floyd, by a Minneapolis police officer, De Blasio didn’t have much to say. In fact, there was an obvious lack of face masks and social distancing seemed non-existent in the crowds that marched down the city streets.

De Blasio, however, turned his nose to that and encouraged it even as the frustrated crowds grew violent and destructive.

De Blasio’s selective enforcement of the social distancing orders and lockdowns became all too clear as he and others unnecessarily traveled and gathered in large groups across the city.

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There was an ordered curfew on Monday night, but the police were outnumbered and failed to enforce it. And what happened before nightfall is telling as the NYPD cleared a park of Orthodox Jewish women and children in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

“Under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio, seeing the NYPD yesterday kick mothers and children out of a Williamsburg Park while simultaneously allowing New York City to burn at the hands of rioters shows the Mayor’s true feelings about his Jewish constituents. We are calling on the Mayor to stop his double standards when it comes to the Jewish community and to treat everyone equally,” Liora Rez, Director of StopAntisemitism.org, told this reporter Tuesday.

When the Mayor’s daughter, Chiara, 25, was arrested late Saturday for her role in the protests, he defended her. According to the New York Post, she was allegedly blocking traffic and refused to move.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo blasted de Blasio during his press conference Tuesday for refusing the support of the National Guard by insisting that the police could handle it on their own.

“The Mayor of New York City says he doesn’t need the National Guard and he doesn’t think they would be helpful and he can do it with the NYPD,” Gov. Cuomo said. “First, the NYPD and the Mayor did not do their job last night. I believe that. Second, you have 38,000 NYPD people. It is the largest police department in the United States of America. Use 38,000 people and protect property. Use the police, protect property and people.”

“Look at the videos. It was a disgrace. I believe that. I believe the Mayor underestimates the scope of the problem. I think he underestimates the duration of the problem. And I don’t think they used enough police to address the situation because it’s inarguable that that was not addressed last night. Facts.”

Cuomo added that the situation “was inexcusable” and that his offers to deploy the National Guard fell on deaf ears. “My option is to displace the Mayor of New York City and bring in the National Guard as the Governor in a State of Emergency and basically take over… the Mayor’s job, you’d have to displace the Mayor, right” but that action, he said, would do harm than good in the “already chaotic” environment.

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Ed Mullins, President of the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association, an NYPD Union, told this reporter Tuesday the de Blasio’s failure to activate necessary resources has left the police force feeling helpless.

“The Mayor’s playing politics, Jennie,” Mullins said. “What’s happening here is the NYPD are losing control of their city. I have emails and messages from NYPD members of a variety of ranks that are begging for help. And they all say our hands our being tied, we cannot respond, we’re not utilizing the equipment we have in order to end this. The only reason they are going to work is for the people who stand to the left of them and to the right of them. They feel defeated and they believe we are losing this city and that the Mayor has done nothing as have the police commissioner and the chiefs who the rank and file feel they’ve abandoned. We’re beyond doing anything at this point.”

“It’s gonna be another bad night. We had a sergeant last night run over with a car, we had firebombings to our vehicles, we had Molotov cocktails thrown into our vehicle. This has gone on with our hands tied. We are being told to stand down. And the public needs to know this. The people who live in this city are being abandoned and we’re not able to help them. The NYPD is very capable of addressing this. Why is it that everyone is saying that we have everything, that we should be able to do this and we’re not doing a good job, because we’re being held back. The Mayor needs to lead and he’s not. And we’re going to get people killed.”

In a series of Tweets posted Tuesday, Former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani pressured Gov. Cuomo to oust de Blasio. “Gov. Cuomo should remove Mayor DiBlasio,” Guiliani wrote. “He is preventing the NYPD from taking the actions that have prevented riots in the past. Surely, you remember the Gigante report which helped me prevent riots under circumstances of long protests with many attempts to turn them violent.”

During his presser Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo, however, said he wasn’t at the point of removing the Mayor from his position. The Mayor’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The story will be updated if one is received.

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EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

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Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: “An America First Approach to US National Security.” Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.” Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an “America First” strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America’s position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump’s administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.  Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding “successful” efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden’s snub when he first came into office, and Biden’s incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom’s security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a “centrist Democrat,” but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will “unilaterally recognize” a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows. 

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

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