american crisis

Major Orthodox groups denounce racist violence

OU, RCA and Agudath … Israeli leaders too


The Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel were among a full spectrum of Jewish organizations and leaders — stretching from left to right — who spoke out firmly in opposition to the racist alt-right protest on Shabbos in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Israeli leaders also piled on.

UPDATE: On Wednesday, after President Trump equated Nazis with those who protest Nazis, the Rabbinical Council of America issued a statement that "condemns any suggestion of moral equivalency between the White Supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville and those who stood up to their repugnant messages and actions."

"There is no moral comparison," said Rabbi Elazar Muskin, president of the RCA. "Failure to unequivocally reject hatred and bias is a failing of moral leadership and fans the flames of intolerance and chauvinism.

“Displays of hate, bigotry and racism by those who proudly associate themselves with white supremacy and Nazism are antithetical to the fundamental American values that have made this nation a home to people of diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds,” said OU President Mark (Moishe) Bane.

Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice-president of Agudath Israel of America, said “the Charlottesville carnage is a painful reminder that racial hatred is, unfortunately, alive and well in our great country. All of us must do what we can as individuals to fight and marginalize haters.”

Among the chants by demonstrators, who targeted Jews, blacks, immigrants, gay people and others, was “Jews will not replace us.”

Radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones blamed Jews for the trouble in Charlottesville.

“I mean, quite frankly, I’ve been to these events,” Jones said on his Aug. 13 program. “A lot of the KKK guys with their hats off look like they’re from the cast of ‘Seinfeld.’ Literally they’re just Jewish actors.”

President-elect Trump appeared on “The Alex Jones Show” in Demember, where he told Jones that “your reputation is amazing” and promised he would “not let you down.”

Naftali Bennet, Israel’s minister of diaspora affairs who is head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, condemned the rally and called on U.S. leaders to denounce the anti-Semitism connected to it.

“The unhindered waving of Nazi flags and symbols in the U.S. is not only offensive towards the Jewish community and other minorities, it also disrespects the millions of American soldiers who sacrificed their lives in order to protect the U.S. and the entire world from the Nazis.”

Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky said “there is no place for such hate speech or violence in any democratic society.”

“We must remain vigilant about educating the public regarding hatred and xenophobia,” the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Memorial Center said in a statement. “In our post-Holocaust global society, there is no room for racism or anti-Semitism.”

“Everyone should oppose this hatred,” tweeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Updated Wednesday Aug 16, 6 pm