Orthodox Jews Dance With Trump 2020 Flags to Protest COVID Lockdowns in NYC

A large group of Orthodox Jews protested COVID-19 restrictions in New York City as some waved campaign flags promoting President Donald Trump on Wednesday night.

Orthodox Jews protested for a second night on Wednesday, having held a protest the previous night that included a staged burning of a pile of face masks. They were protesting restrictions imposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in response to a recent surge of COVID-19, with affected areas having large populations of Orthodox Jews.

A video of Tuesday's demonstration shared to Twitter shows a large group, some carrying Trump campaign flags, circling and dancing with arms locked as music plays on a Brooklyn street. The protest was led by pro-Trump "community agitator" Heshy Tischler, according to a report from Forward.

HAPPENING NOW: Orthodox Jews with Trump flags dance to music on the streets of Brooklyn in protest of New York Gov. Cuomo’s partial synagogue closures.


— SV News 🚨 (@SVNewsAlerts) October 8, 2020

Multiple reports indicate that Hasidic Jewish reporter Jacob Kornbluh was physically attacked by the crowd during the protest, with the crowd calling Kornbluh a moyser, or "snitch," after he was recognized as a journalist.

"I was standing there observing the scene on the sidelines, standing next to some families," Kornbluh told The Daily Beast. "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."

"Literally hundreds of members of the community tried to beat me up," Kornbluh added. "Somebody hit me in the head. I was kicked, dragged, and people were saying I deserved to die... calling me Hitler [and a] Nazi."

Tischler, a talk radio host and candidate for Brooklyn City Council known for his outspoken opposition to wearing face masks, shouted insults about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife Chirlane McCray during Tuesday night's protest.

Cuomo and de Blasio have been criticized by some in the Orthodox Jewish community for allegedly unfairly blaming the communities—including those with low adherence to preventative measures like wearing masks and practicing social distancing—for an uptick in new cases of COVID-19.

Cuomo announced he was closing some private and public schools in heavily infected areas and imposing restrictions like limiting mass gatherings, including religious gatherings, after cases began to climb following a summer that had seen them grow at a slower pace.

De Blasio recently directed police to enforce a mandatory mask policy in the city, while distributing free masks to communities and vowing that those who refused to comply would be subject to a $1,000 fine.

The ongoing protests are happening during the Jewish religious holiday of Sukkot, which began last Friday.

Newsweek reached out to Cuomo's office for comment.

Orthodox Jewish NYC COVID Protest
A group of Orthodox Jewish protesters hold President Donald Trump campaign signs and flags as they demonstrate against COVID-19 restrictions in Brooklyn, New York on October 7, 2020. Spencer Platt/Getty