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Unity Against Hate Must Start at the Top

National Council of Jewish Women
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Washington, DC 20036-4206
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Unity Against Hate Must Start at the Top

August 13, 2017, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) has denounced the hate-filled gathering in Charlottesville, VA, and death and injuries it spawned. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“Today we mourn a victim of hate yet again. By all accounts, Heather Heyer was in Charlottesville among those protesting the so-called ‘Unite the Right’ rally because she felt a call to stand on the side of justice and equality. She was brutally and fatally wounded by a car that deliberately smashed into the crowd where she stood. The rally she protested drew Neo-Nazis, KKK members, anti-Semites, white nationalists and other purveyors of hate to Charlottesville to oppose the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a prominent public park, but also to announce the strength of its supremacist following.

“That we have always had bigots and haters among us, we know all too well. That they feel emboldened by the tough guy rhetoric of the president of the United States is new in modern times. President Trump’s condemnation of ‘hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, many sides’ was an obtuse failure to stand forthrightly against white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Stronger statements issued later from the White House and Ivanka Trump, among others, but none attributed to Trump himself, do little to fill the vacuum of leadership apparent on Saturday.

“Marchers asserted that they were ‘tired of seeing white people pushed around’ and chanted ‘Jews will not replace us.’ There are not ‘many sides’ to such a confrontation, but two sides — the anti-racist, anti-fascist side and the un-American, white supremacist side. Everyone must be crystal clear about that, beginning with the president of the Unites States.

“In addition to Heather Heyer, we also mourn the two state troopers killed in the line of duty policing the event. Their deaths underscore how high the stakes are when fanaticism takes to the streets. The Justice Department is right to launch an investigation into the violence inflicted on the marchers. The city of Charlottesville and Commonwealth of Virginia will no doubt conduct their own investigations as to how the response to the march was handled and who may be culpable for the crimes committed. But the first person who needs to reflect on his role in encouraging and fomenting the forces gathered in Charlottesville Saturday — beginning with his promotion of the birther movement and continuing with racist dogwhistles during his campaign — is Donald J. Trump.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

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