Bill de Blasio: Let's face it, anti-semitism is a right-wing movement

Imagine not only believing this but feeling confident enough in your opinion to say it out loud.

At a press conference organized to alert the residents of your very liberal city to a shocking rise in anti-semitic hate crimes, no less.

I’m tempted to predict that he’ll end up introducing Ilhan Omar to a standing ovation at next year’s Democratic convention but there’s no way they’ll give this clown a speaking role as plum as that.

“I think the ideological movement that is anti-Semitic is the right-wing movement,” de Blasio said at a Brooklyn press conference Tuesday about the increase of hate crimes in New York City. Hate crimes against all minority groups are up 64% compared to this time last year. Anti-Semitic incidents have spiked by 90%.

De Blasio said he did not agree with a claim by a reporter that there is also rising anti-Semitism “on the left in the BDS movement and around the world.” The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is a largely left-wing campaign to ban Israeli products.

“I want to be very, very clear, the violent threat, the threat that is ideological is very much from the right,” de Blasio said, adding that the perpetrators trace their history back to Nazism and fascism.

City Council members from both parties wondered afterward whom de Blasio believes is committing these hate crimes locally. Does he think white supremacists are streaming into Brooklyn to punch a Lubavitcher, or that there’s some secret Nazi enclave of Manhattan?

Fully 60 percent of hate crimes in NYC this past year were committed against Jews, easily the largest share of any targeted minority. I assure you that not all of the perpetrators were right-wing. New York being New York, it’s possible if not likely that few were. What is Blas thinking?

Mainly he’s thinking about his no-shot presidential candidacy. A mayor who’s interested in being a mayor would have little reason to apportion ideological blame for a rising tide of hate crimes. His interest would be in uniting the community to solve the problem. Instead de Blasio’s hinting to NYC’s great liberal majority that this isn’t really “their” problem, hoping that that message will be carried to the great mass of progressive 2020 primary voters whom he’s trying to woo. The left imagines a straight line from growing anti-semitism to Trump’s admirers in Charlottesville to Trump himself. De Blasio’s trying to ingratiate himself to them by validating that belief, and of course by preemptively spinning about why NYC has become more threatening to Jews on his watch. Simply deflect all questions about anti-semitism to the right, never mind the gory history of that prejudice among ideologues of both sides.

This isn’t all about electoral calculations, though, I’d bet. Reading his quotes reminded me of that surreal Paul Krugman tweet from March, while one of the many Ilhan Omar controversies was raging, in which a left-wing Nobel Prize winner with a column at the world’s most prestigious newspaper claimed with a straight face that there’s anti-semitism on both sides but only one side is worth worrying about. Blas may very well share that sanguine view of the left’s essential virtue, not just as a pander to progressive voters. And so, to cope with the cognitive dissonance involved in Jews getting beaten up in deep blue New York, naturally he comforts himself with the belief that this is a right-wing problem. Somehow.

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