getz by the Forward

Hasidic counter-protester critically injured in Borough Park Cuomo-de Blasio protest, now in stable condition

Image by Elad Nehorai

Berish Getz, a Borough Park resident, was beaten to the point of critical injuries during a demonstration that raged until the early morning Wednesday against new state-mandated restrictions imposed on the neighborhood, as well as others home to New York’s ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, communities.

He is now in stable condition and is undergoing body scans for injuries from the attack.

bo Getz was beaten with rocks and fists after Hasidic protesters called him a “snitch” and shouted about how “the wicked” should be “cut” off from life before attacking him for filming the protest.

Mordy Getz, Berish’s brother, wrote on Twitter that two police officers tried to protect him but were also attacked.

The organizer of the protest, Heshy Tischler, declined to be interviewed but confirmed over Twitter direct message that he organized the protest and denied claims that he incited violence.

Videos posted on Twitter show Tischler calling protesters “soldiers” and telling them, “We are at war.”

A screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation posted to Twitter illustrated one user showing sending of Getz on the ground after the attack, with Tischler responding, “This is what happens to rats.”

Asked to clarify why he considered Getz a “rat,” Tischler said only that “a snitch = a rat.”

One eyewitness who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Getz was one of three people on top of a container taking photos. At one point, people started to point to Getz and shine a flashlight into his face, calling him “muser,” or snitch in Yiddish. Protesters then started throwing objects at him and, at one point, beating him with a long stick.

When the police arrived, Getz jumped down from the container and ran, but was chased by the mob. He was treated by EMTs at the scene, near 13th Avenue in Borough Park.

Getz’ brother, Mordy, faced death threats in April for publicly calling for Haredi Jews to abide by social distancing guidelines. He declined to comment. Tischler said there will be another protest, this one "peaceful," at 9 p.m. tonight.


Molly Boigon

Molly Boigon

Molly Boigon is an investigative reporter at the Forward. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter @MollyBoigon.

Hasidic counter-protester critically injured

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Hasidic counter-protester critically injured in Borough Park Cuomo-de Blasio protest, now in stable condition

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