Home / US / Protester Harold ‘Heshy’ Tischler arrested for instigating a riot during protests by Orthodox Jews against Covid-19 restrictions in New York

Protester Harold ‘Heshy’ Tischler arrested for instigating a riot during protests by Orthodox Jews against Covid-19 restrictions in New York

Some members of the Orthodox Jewish community protested in the Borough Park neighborhood for multiple nights last week in response to measures, which limit gatherings to places of worship in areas identified as Covid-19 clusters.

Jewish Insider reporter Jacob Kornbluh said on a verified Twitter account that he was brutally assaulted during Wednesday night protests after Tischler “recognized me and ordered the crowd to chase me down the street.”

Confirming Tischler’s detention on Sunday, a spokesman for the New York City Police Department said charges of inciting riots and unlawful imprisonment in connection with the incident surrounding Kornbluh are pending.

“The New York City Police Department Warrant Squad has arrested Harold ̵

6;Heshy’ Tischler. He will be charged with inciting rioting and unlawful imprisonment in connection with a reporter’s assault on October 7, 2020 in Brooklyn,” the department said on Twitter.

CNN has tried several times to reach Tischler, but has not received a response.

Tischler is a candidate for the New York City Council, a supporter of President Trump, and an outspoken critic of social distancing restrictions, according to posts on his Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Tischler tweeted a video last week that he would be “arrested on Monday” or surrendered to incite a riot. “Monday morning I’ll be brought, I’ll go to jail.”

He said he would plead not guilty because “I did not commit this crime of violence, no one was arrested that night”.

“I’m thinking maybe let them come and get me,” he said.

Kornbluh, who is Jewish Insider’s national politics reporter, tweeted that he was shot in the head and kicked by crowd members during Wednesday night protests. He thanked “heroic police officers” for saving him.

New York sees an increase in Covid-19 cases in Orthodox Jewish areas

Tischler called the reporter a “terrible and bad man” and said that Kornbluh had molested him the night before.

Kornbluh told CNN on Friday that Tischler’s account of the events was “inaccurate” and said it would be confirmed once the investigation is completed.

“I have shared my communications with him with the authorities and have faith in the process,” Kornbluh said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last week instituted new anti-Covid 19 measures to try to stop the further expansion of hot spot clusters in Brooklyn, Queens and several New York suburbs.

Its executive order restricts gatherings in places of worship to 25% capacity or a maximum of 10 people in the “red zone” clusters, while those in the “orange zone” can handle up to 33% capacity with a maximum of 25 people. Places of worship in a “yellow zone”, meanwhile, can run up to 50%.

On Friday, Cuomo said such restrictions were not unprecedented.

“We have always attacked clusters. This cluster appears to be predominantly the ultra-Orthodox in Brooklyn and Queens,” Cuomo said. “This is not the first time the state has taken this action.”

But the restrictions exacerbated the tensions existing between the leaders of the city and some in the Orthodox Jewish community.

The judge denies the request of the Orthodox Jewish group

The Orthodox Jewish group Agudath Israel of America filed a lawsuit demanding a temporary restraining order blocking the new restrictions and arguing that Cuomo’s order “has a disproportionate impact on Orthodox Jewish services.”

But on Friday a federal judge ruled against the group.

“This ruling is disappointing to say the least,” said Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel. “Of course we understand the importance of taking precautionary measures against Covid-19, but there are ways to do this without totally disrupting our ability to use our shul.”

Meanwhile, the New York Jewish Agenda – an organization that, according to its website, works to promote social justice and fight anti-Semitism – joined a group of Orthodox rabbis and Kornbluh on Friday in encouraging people in Covid-19 hotspot areas across the city to comply with health measures, according to a press release from the organization.

“Asking all of us to wear masks, observe social distances and avoid large congregation gatherings is not an anti-Semitic act on the part of our city and country in an attempt to save lives,” said NYJA co-founder Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum. .

CNN’s Evan Simko-Bednarski contributed to this report.

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