Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) said he was pained to read Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s comments in The Atlantic which unfairly stereotype Orthodox Jews as “Black Hats” and belittle the seriousness with which his community has reacted to attacks on the age-old tradition of circumcision.
“When Mayor Bloomberg decided to run for a third term, he came to our community seeking favor with the Hareidi community—he asked Orthodox, Torah-observant Jews to support his candidacy,” said the Assemblyman. “ Now when he finds those same people unanimously frightened by his personal agenda and aggressive stance against Metzitzah b’peh, he quips, ‘Who wants to have 10,000 guys in black hats outside your office screaming?’ But we weren’t Black Hats when he needed us.
“The mayor is certainly entitled to his opinion on traditional circumcision but it’s demeaning the way he characterizes it. Metzitzah b’peh is not a point of view—it’s a religious tenet. The mayor is certainly at liberty to take on unpopular issues, but describing his constituents in a demeaning and derogatory way is unbecoming of the mayor’s office. It’s insensitive and it’s offensive.
“Mr. Mayor, my community deserves more respect.”
Source: Press release