After a series of shocking anti-Semitic attacks in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is speaking out about a culture of hatred in the country that he says stems in part from the leadership in Washington. Without mentioning President Donald Trump specifically, de Blasio said that the country is in a “crisis” that must be addressed by the leaders in the Trump administration.
According to Fox News, de Blasio addressed the issue of anti-Semitism in the U.S. the day after five people were stabbed during a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s house. At least eight other attacks against people of the Jewish faith have taken place this month in New York City alone.
“We are in a crisis right now,” de Blasio said. “What we’re seeing is a growth of anti-Semitism in this country that is profoundly dangerous. It is happening in Europe as well.”
De Blasio has been criticized in the past by people who say that he hasn’t worked hard enough to address the violence of this nature in his city. When prompted to address these critiques, he said that part of the problem is a culture of hatred that is coming out of Washington.
“An atmosphere of hate has been developing in this country over the last few years. A lot of it is emanating from Washington and it’s having an effect on all of us,” he said.
Fox pushed de Blasio to confirm whether or not he was talking about the president, he replied that it wasn’t just Trump, but “we need a different tone, starting in Washington… that encourage this country to actually find some unity and some common ground.”
It’s not the first time that the left-leaning politician has laid the blame for domestic terrorism at the feet of conservatives, calling it largely a right-wing threat. His comments were met with backlash. De Blasio said that he calls out anti-Semitism when he sees it, whether it is coming from the left or the right.
He was also asked to address recent criticism that he has faced over releasing prisoners who have been accused of attacking Jewish people. De Blasio said that the people that have been released are often there because they can’t make bail, which doesn’t resolve the core issue.
“We have a problem. We’re not going to jail our way out of the problem,” he said, adding that people should face tough prosecution.
De Blasio has also faced criticism by the president recently for the homeless problem that his city is facing. Trump recently told the mayor that he would step in to help those struggling with homelessness if he asked him “politely” for help.