2017-08-16 / Editorial

The Jewish community must be united against racism and violence

If anything positive comes out of the deadly protests in Charlottesville, it is the diversity of voices that have united in condemning the bigotry, anti-Semitism and violence that unfolded over the weekend.

We join with American political leaders of all stripes, clergy, and all others who have been praying, marching and speaking out against the white supremacists who spewed their hate and unleashed violence on innocent, peaceful people.

The “Unite the Right” rally that drew hundreds of white nationalists and neo-Nazis to a march at a statute of Robert E. Lee was one of the largest showings from a hate group in years. The protests turned deadly when a domestic terrorist, a 20-year-old man from Ohio identified as a person with a history of Nazi sympathy, plowed his car into a crowd, killing a 32-year-old woman who showed up to peacefully demonstrate, and injuring 19 others.

We could not agree more with David Bernstein, president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, who said that condemning such hate must become a national priority. “We stand with people of good will from all walks of life who are speaking out against hate,” Bernstein said. “We must drive it back into the underground and to the margins of society.”

Locally, South Jersey clergy and their congregants gathered at several rallies, including hundreds at a non-sectarian rally in Collingswood Sunday night to “stand in solidarity with Charlottesville” and a multi-synagogue and multi-faith rally at Temple Sinai in Cinnaminson. These were two of the many events held locally and across the nation.

As a community, we must remain united in speaking out against the venomous white supremacists and their hatred. It does not reflect Jewish or American values. s

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