N.Y. mayor to Syrian Jews: Sympathize with Muslim refugees from shared homeland

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in a Sabbath address to a Syrian Jewish synagogue called on congregants to sympathize with Muslim refugees from their shared homeland.

The Shabbat worshippers at the Orthodox Congregation Shaare Zion in Brooklyn appeared to disapprove with the mayor’s address, the New York Post reported Sunday, noting that the congregants murmured uncomfortably as he compared Syrian refugees fleeing their country’s civil war with Jews fleeing the Nazis.

“I know this community understands deeply the pain of any family that must leave a homeland they love because they were forced away by violence and discrimination,” said de Blasio, calling on people to “look at history.”

There is disagreement among elected officials and the public over the resettlement of Muslim refugees in U.S. cities.

The congregants reportedly only applauded when de Blasio vowed to protect the city’s Jews in the wake of recent targeted terror attacks in Jerusalem and Paris.

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