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NYC Orthodox Man Verbally Accosted for Not Wearing Mask While Walking Alone Outside

Joze Cruz.png

A video has gone viral on social media of a man, now identified as Jose Cruz, horrifically shouting at a Hasidic Jewish man for not wearing a mask on an empty New York City street.

The video, which appeared to be taken from someone driving a car, features a man shouting at the Hasidic Jewish man, “Put your f—ing mask on! Put your mask on! There’s COVID cases! Hurry up! Put it on!” The Jewish man, who was talking on the phone, puts his mask on. Nobody was around him.

Tablet senior writer Yair Rosenberg tweeted that the video originated from a Facebook account called Sonny Luciano, who posted it with the caption, “Riding though boro park be like ……they have a spike in COVID cases so I’m trying to help the neighborhood.”

“This is basically antisemitic intimidation of a random Jew done for sport and applause from peers under the guise of righteousness,” Rosenberg tweeted. “So basically, the same sort of anti-Semitism we Jews have been dealing with for centuries.”

Rosenberg added in a subsequent tweet, “That young Hasidic guy wasn’t within 6 feet of anyone, and he *had* a mask he just wasn’t wearing in order to talk on the phone. The guy making this video openly bragged on his Facebook page about stalking him so that he could jump him, then posted the video of it for likes.”

Metro UK reporter Jacob Henry reported that he tracked down the man who took the video, and that the man told him that he thinks Orthodox Jews commit “‘disgusting’ practices including incest, child abuse by circumcision and even murder with the full tirade too offensive to reproduce.”

Others on Twitter condemned the video. In a tweet, The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Committee (OJPAC) blamed the Democratic Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, for the anti-Semitic attack.

“The verbal abuse seen in this video against an Orthodox Jew is on @NYGovCuomo
for making Orthodox Jews the target of the rise in COVID-19 across New York,” OJPAC tweeted. “As for the bigot in the video, you don’t need a mask on an empty sidewalk.”

On October 14, Cuomo said in a press conference there are “issues in the Orthodox Jewish community in New York, where because of their religious practices, etc., we’re seeing a spread.” Cuomo had announced a series of restrictions on October 6 in nine primarily Hasidic zip codes, which closed some schools and restricted the number of people who could attend houses of worship to 10 people.

The restrictions resulted in a series of protests from the Orthodox Jewish community, which featured masks burned and a couple of assaults. Jewish Insider reporter Jacob Kornbluh, himself an Orthodox Jew, was assaulted during one of these protests. One of the protesters, Harold “Heschy” Tischler, was arrested on October 11 for allegedly inciting the assault against Kornbluh and is facing charges of inciting a riot.