Bill de Blasio
Bill de Blasio Reuters

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination for next year’s election, said he sees threats of anti-Semitism as coming from the right wing, JTA reported.

At a news conference Tuesday in Brooklyn about the rise of hate crimes in the city, de Blasio was asked about a supposed rise in anti-Semitism on the left.

“I think the ideological movement that is anti-Semitic is the right-wing movement,” responded the mayor, according to JTA.

At the news conference, the New York Police Department said that hate crimes have risen this year despite a decrease in overall crime. Sixty percent of the hate crimes counted were committed against Jews, in particular those living in predominantly Orthodox areas, Bklyner reported.

De Blasio’s comments drew criticism, including from Jewish City Councilman Chaim Deutsch.

“I have not seen any white supremacists coming in here committing these hate crimes,” said Deutsch, according to the New York Post.

De Blasio officially announced his presidential candidacy last month, bringing the total number of Democratic candidates seeking to challenge President Donald Trump to 23.

Other candidates include former Vice President Joe Biden, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Kamala Harris, Congressman Eric Swalwell, Pete Buttigieg and Senator Cory Booker.

Democrats and Republicans have clashed over anti-Semitism in recent months, particularly over remarks made by Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

Omar came under fire after she suggested on Twitter that Republicans were attacking her at the behest of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC. She subsequently issued a half-hearted apology before ultimately deleting the controversial tweets.

Her controversial remarks led the Democrats in the House of Representatives to work on a new resolution condemning anti-Semitism. However, the resolution was watered down to include condemnation of all forms of bigotry after objections from some Democrats. The watered-down version was ultimately approved by an overwhelming majority.

Following the approval of the resolution, Trump ripped the Democrats, telling reporters that the Democratic party has become an “anti-Israel” and “anti-Jewish” party.

He later reportedly doubled down on the criticism, telling a closed-door meeting of Republican donors that “the Democrats hate Jewish people.”

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