Orthodox Jewish Crowd Allegedly Attack Journalist at New York COVID Protest

A prominent Jewish journalist was targeted by a crowd of people protesting the new COVID-19 restrictions affecting areas with high Orthodox Jewish populations in New York.

Jacob Kornbluh, a Hasidic Jew and reporter at Jewish Insider, tweeted how he had been "brutally assaulted, hit in the head, and kicked at by an angry crowd of hundreds of community members" during a second night of protest at Borough Park in the Brooklyn area of New York.

Kornbluh added that the crowd yelled "Nazi" and "Hitler" at him after city council candidate Heshy Tischler saw him and allegedly ordered the protesters to "chase me down the street."

Tischler has become a leading agitator in fighting against COVID-19 restrictions in New York and organized the protest on Wednesday night. As noted by the Forward, Tischler's profile has been rising ever since he used bolt cutters to cut chains around playgrounds in Hasidic neighborhoods during the summer.

On Wednesday, Tischler tweeted a video about the "evil snitch" Kornbluh, referring to him as a "rat" for calling the authorities on him and claiming he "hates the Jewish community."

During Thursday's protest, Tischler can be seen yelling at Kornbluh "you're a moser, everyone scream moser" as a large crowd of people—many of whom are not wearing masks—swarm around him.

Moser is a legal term which refers to a Jewish person who informs on Jews to the secular authorities. Some Jewish legal figures believe mosers should be subjected to the death penalty.

"I want to thank the people who got in harm's way—and might have gotten injured—to protect me," Kornbluh added. "I am filing charges against Heshy Tischler for incitement and physical assault and will seek charges against any individual who hit me."

Here’s Heschy egging then on. “He’s lucky time be alive,” one of the protesters told me after.

A few yards away, cops agree to close more streets, joking around with same men who just beat up a reporter pic.twitter.com/UekTnKQqrA

— Jake Offenhartz (@jangelooff) October 8, 2020

Several elected officials have condemned the actions of those protesting the new restrictions imposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Rep. Jerry Naddler tweeted: "This is terrifying news from @jacobkornbluh. While this may be a small minority within a small community, it is disgusting and those responsible must be held to account for such violence."

Councilman Chaim Deutsch added: "It is NEVER acceptable for a protest to devolve into violence. I am disgusted by this and stand with @jacobkornbluh. Instigators of violence are not welcome in our community."

On Tuesday, a crowd of Orthodox Jewish protesters set fire to a pile of face masks in response to the new restrictions imposed in Brooklyn, Queens, and Broome, Orange and Rockland Counties following a spike in coronavirus cases.

Many of the areas with the strictest rules, including the closing of schools, limiting attendance in places of worship to 10 people and $15,000 fine to anyone who organizes a mass gathering, have high Orthodox Jewish populations.

Cuomo's decision was condemned by Jewish figures, who believe they were not given enough notice about the restrictions and that Orthodox Jewish gatherings taking place during the holiday season are being unfairly blamed for the outbreaks.

On Monday night, a large crowd of people celebrating the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights had to be broken by police.

The NYPD confirmed to Newsweek that there were no arrests or summonses issued in connection to Thursday's protest.

Tischler has been contacted for comment.

Groups of protesters gather in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park to denounce lockdowns of their neighborhood due to a spike in COVID-19 cases on October 7 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty

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