Jewish leaders call COVID hot zone rules ‘blatantly anti-Semitic’

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A woman holds a sign as she and others protest coronavirus cluster restrictions outside the New York City office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020.

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NEW YORK — Three Rockland County Jewish congregations filed a lawsuit accusing Gov. Andrew Cuomo of engaging in a streak of anti-Semitic discrimination with a crackdown on religious gatherings.

The Manhattan federal court lawsuit filed Wednesday says Cuomo has made numerous discriminatory statements about the Jewish Orthodox community.

Cuomo has blamed the state’s growing coronavirus infection rate on red zone cluster areas that are home to 2.8% of the state’s population but make up a disproportionate amount of new cases.

The state said six coronavirus clusters have appeared in Brooklyn and Queens, as well as Broome, Orange and Rockland counties.

In those COVID-19 red zones, the state has restricted houses of worship to 25% of capacity, or a maximum of 10 people.

Cuomo told reporters Thursday he is not targeting Orthodox Jewish communities.

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