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August 13, 2017 10:06 am

American Jewish Groups and Leaders Unite in Condemnation of White Supremacist Violence in Charlottesville

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

A Nazi flag on display on Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday. Photo: Huffington Post reporter Andy Campbell via Twitter.

The violence perpetrated by white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend has drawn across-the-board condemnation from prominent American Jewish groups and leaders.

“It is utterly distressing and repugnant that such hatred and bigotry still run rampant in parts of this country,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said in a statement. “There is no place in our democratic society for such violence and intolerance. We must be vigilant and united in our opposition to such abhorrence.”

The Anti-Defamation League urged President Donald Trump to “clearly denounce white supremacy in all forms.”

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt stated, “This is a moment that demands moral leadership. President Trump should acknowledge that this is not a matter of equivalence between two sides with similar gripes. There is no rationalizing white supremacy and no room for this vile bigotry. It is un-American and it needs to be condemned without hesitation.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center said Saturday’s car-ramming attack in Charlottesville — in which one counter-protester was killed and 19 were injured — “should be treated as a deliberate act of terrorism.”

“We call upon all American leaders, whatever their political affiliations, led by President Trump, to specifically condemn the extreme alt-right and white nationalists who sow seeds of hate, distrust and violence,” Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper — the dean and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — stated. “They and all other extremists, left or right, have no place in the mainstream of our nation.”

The American Jewish Committee tweeted, “Appalled by white supremacists & neo-Nazis in #Charlottesville preaching #racism, spewing #antiSemitism & #homophobia & glorifying violence.”

In a second tweet addressed to Trump, the American Jewish Committee said, “Time for moral clarity. Condemning ‘hatred, bigotry & violence on many sides’ blurs truth & gives pass to neo-Nazi perpetrators.”

B’nai B’rith International stated, “From each individual through neighborhoods, communities, towns, cities, states and the nation as a whole, all Americans of good conscious must reject divisiveness and strive to embrace tolerance and unity.”

The University of Virginia Hillel said in a Facebook post, “It has been a difficult 24 hours in Charlottesville. The violence, loss of life, and hatred displayed here today is heartbreaking.”

“The Jewish Leadership Council [an umbrella organization of Jewish student groups at UVA] strongly condemns the violence and hate that has taken place within our community this weekend,” the post continued. “The white supremacist groups who have come to rally in Charlottesville stand for exclusion and inequality, and those things have no place in our community.

“We stand firmly on the side of love and acceptance; it is the diversity at our University and in the city of Charlottesville that makes it such a wonderful place to be. We believe in creating a place where no person feels unsafe or unwelcome, both here in Charlottesville and throughout the United States. No individual should feel unsafe or unwelcome anywhere based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, or anything else that makes them who they are as a human being.”

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