Kid gloves: NYC goes easy on a yeshiva violating coronavirus social distancing restrictions

Bed-Stuy's Nitra Yeshiva flaunts social distancing and school closure rules.
Bed-Stuy's Nitra Yeshiva flaunts social distancing and school closure rules.

Item: Cops raid a Brooklyn barbershop where more than 50 people gathered underground in violation of social distancing rules designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Helicopters hover overhead; officers order attendees out of the premises, cuff and search them one by one, and hand out 60 summonses.
“Police are absolutely doing the right thing to break it up. We’re going to keep breaking things up, if people need to get summonses to get the message, we’re going to do it,” said Mayor de Blasio.
Item: Cops discover a Brooklyn yeshiva where 60 children have been packing into rooms every day to study. The city’s Health Department issues a cease and desist order, but there are no summonses and no arrests. At another yeshiva last month, offenders were given verbal warnings.
People of all colors, creeds, zip codes and backgrounds are breaking rules about gathering together and need, from time to time, at least a helpful nudge. Contrary to the mayor’s sloppy formulation last month, “the Jewish community” at large deserves no special rebuke.

But the past few months have shown consistent defiance of vital public-health guidelines from a small number of ultra-Orthodox Jews, even as cops recently revealed that 35 of the 40 Brooklynites arrested for social distancing violations between March 17 and May 4 were black.

While it may be true that foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, inconsistency this glaring is a threat to the credibility of the city, the mayor and the NYPD.

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