Jewish journalist’s dad ‘shocked and disgusted’ son was attacked at NYC protests
The father of an Orthodox Jewish reporter who was attacked during an anti-lockdown protest in Brooklyn last week expressed “shock and disgust” at his son’s tormenters in an open letter published Tuesday.
Yitzchok Kornbluh said his son Jacob has been targeted by trolls hurling “vile comments and curses” at him — with some even suggesting he should be killed for reporting on the unruly demonstrations in Borough Park.
“All you need is one crazed person to take that ‘Mitzva’ on board [God forbid],” Yitzchok wrote in a letter on The Yeshiva World website, sarcastically using the Hebrew word for “good deed.”
He charged that the Orthodox community was “in denial” about mask wearing and social distancing, leading to a flare up of the coronavirus in the neighborhood.
His son, he added, was only “advocating wellbeing and promoting protective safety measures” by alerting authorities to the large gathering.
The journalist said he was punched and kicked by protesters who called him a “Nazi” and “Hitler” on Oct. 8, during a night of unrest over government attempts to stop the surging cases of COVID-19 across a broad swath of Brooklyn.
Jacob said the mob was incited by Heshy Tischler, an agitator and aspiring politician, who was arrested Sunday on charges of false imprisonment, inciting a riot, menacing and harassment.
An angry crowd gathered outside Jacob’s home to yell at him through a bullhorn following Tischler’s arrest.
“These scenes were beamed around the globe via Major TV stations and Media outlets,” Jacob’s dad wrote, calling the shocking scene a “Chillul Hashem,” a Hebrew term for when a Jewish person publicly acts in a way that discredits or reflects badly on the religion as a whole.
“The Chillul Hashem in watching fellow Jews behaving like crazed anarchists in chanting booing and baying for Jacob’s blood like hoodlums and egged on by a mob Leader is just beyond comprehension,” Yitzchok wrote.
Yitzchok also demanded to know why community leaders and activists didn’t act when “a gang of mobsters” descended outside the home to “hurl abuse and obscenities and incite hostility against a family who are trapped in their own home through fear and trepidation.”
“Where are the parents of those [young men] who participated?” Yitzchok asked. “What message does such behavior send to our young children?”
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