LONDON (VINnews) — Britain’s Daily Mail, one of the largest national newspapers in the kingdom, criticized Hasidic Jews for ignoring social distancing rules during the coronavirus lockdown as hundreds gathered to celebrate Lag Ba’Omer
The newspaper described “300 revellers spotted gathering in Stamford Hill, north London, this evening, despite Government advice that only one person from each household can meet as Britain eases its restrictions.
“The crowd danced as they gathered in an estate in the borough of Hackney, with one attendee sporting a gorilla mask.”
Stamford Hill locals on social media complained of large gatherings and loud music yesterday, with many asking how the police could let this go on. One wrote on Twitter: ‘Why oh why was this allowed to happen late into last night, and all of today? ‘This area has been so severely affected by the virus, gatherings like this are so dangerous, for the Orthodox community and their neighbours too.’ Another said: ‘3 police cars 10 officers and a fire engine in the street and now a party taking place next to me with a fire in the back garden. So social distancing is over is it?’
This was in Stamford Hill (yet again) last night. Come on people!!!!! What don’t you get?????? Large groups of people crowding together equals deaths. It’s simple. #StamfordHill #London #Lagbeomer #fire #police #Hasidic #Judaism #Jewish #religious
Posted by The Diary Of An OTD Girl on Tuesday, May 12, 2020
The newspaper also noted that the community violated restrictions despite being one of the hardest hit communities in Britain, with latest figures revealing that 440 Jews have died of COVID-19, meaning that the community had been hit six times harder than other Britons, accounting for 2.3 per cent of coronavirus deaths while comprising just 0.4 per cent of the population.
The reporter quotes sources which surmise that this is partly due to the annual Purim festival which brought large numbers of Jews together in the final days before lockdown, when some were asymptomatic carriers of the disease.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews told those of the faith to do ‘everything you can to follow the Government’s guidelines and stay home unless you absolutely cannot’ back in March.
The newspaper noted that the images of Chasidim rejoicing without social distancing surfaced just weeks after 40 guests attended an “extravagant” Jewish wedding in the middle of lockdown and mocked police when they tried to intervene by offering them a beer.
The newspaper showed footage as guests of Mimi Friedlander and Zevi Begal gathered in the garden of a large north London home.
They were treated to a luxurious meal laid out on long tables covered in white tablecloths, with orchids lavishly draped around the room.
A police officer was told earlier in the day that only 10 members of the same family, who lived at the address anyway, would be attending the wedding
In the footage, an officer is seen searching the house, saying ‘I’m crashing the party’. A reveler then replies, ‘do you want to have a little drink? A beer?’ The policeman dismisses the offer.
The top table at the wedding banquet alone had 20 seats positioned close together. Eleven were taken by members of the groom’s family, and nine by the family of the bride
The videos then captured the moment the police entered the premises to try and break up the party, only to be met by people offering them drinks and laughing.
Father-of-the-bride Moishe Friedlander was chairman of the Hackney Metropolitan police Independent Advisory Group for five years. Today he confirmed that the outcry over the wedding has forced him to resign.
‘It’s all over now,’ he told MailOnline. ‘I’ve stepped down as chairman. Let’s all move on with our lives.’