Op-Ed: Lessons From Charlottesville: The Alt-Right vs. The Alt-Left


(By NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind)

Five hundred demonstrators chanting about the Jews, many carrying Swastika flags. Five hundred. That’s a scary number when you think of how many people didn’t show up but support the hateful rhetoric and deeply bigoted sentiments being spewed. Five hundred.

With so many neo-Nazis assembled in one place, is there any wonder how it could have ended in tragedy, with a 32-year-old woman murdered and dozens badly injured? Words matter. Hateful words bring hateful actions.

Was this a wake-up call for my fellow New Yorkers? I can only hope so. We live relatively comfortably here in the great state of New York, but we are foolish to believe that what we saw this weekend is isolated to Virginia.

The lessons we learn from the tragedy in Charlottesville are many. For one, these were young people who formed the ranks of the Alt-Right. The suspect who drove a car into a crowd was 20. Where are these young people developing their vitriol? Where do they learn their hate? Blaming the President is just a political game of the Alt-Left. Hatred like this comes from the home.

Of course, it’s disheartening that our President does not address this problem more precisely. Given his style, I’m not so certain that’s by design. But the President is not the problem.

The problem is the hatred at both ends of the spectrum: Swastikas and racial slurs and horrible, murderous hatred from the Alt-Right; economic pogroms like BDS and verbal attacks on women marching with Stars of David from the Alt-Left. The hatred and danger from both sides is evident, and Jews, as historically precedent, are caught in between.

What this neo-Nazi did with his car ramming to these unfortunate victims is precisely what Palestinian terrorists attempt to do to Israelis on a weekly basis. It’s time for those who truly love freedom and justice to condemn the violence of both the Alt-Right and the Alt-Left. Regardless of the so-called ideology of these Terrorists, the victims and their families suffer the same fate.

(YWN Headquarters – NYC)


  1. The extremes are a threat. We don’t like a menu defined by concentration camps and gulags. The socialist wing of the Democrats is a serious threat to Orthodox Jews (and probably to all religious groups) and it appears they are taking over the Democrats. The alt-right nationalists who are tolerated by some of the Trump camp, though there is no danger of white supremists taking over a party whose leaders include prominent non-whites and Jews.

  2. G-d created antisemites to remind Jews that they are Jews. Maybe if we got out and helped our brethren come back to the fold, then the antisemitism would subside?

  3. I agree with Mr. Hikind – all naughty children should be scolded, not just the one who stole MY candy.

    But our president has clearly sent a message that right-wing thugs have his sympathy. And the right-wing thugs, e.g., David Duke, clearly think they are carrying out Trump’s policy, such as it is, or at least they have his acquiesence. The president’s “racism is evil” comment two days after the vehicular homicide was too little, too late.

    According to many YWN commenters, Trump got a lot – maybe a majority – of frum votes. I would like to hear from some of those voters about their opinions of President Trump now that he as been in office for 6 months.

    And by coincidence, I will be in Tel Aviv for a wedding in the fall. Maybe I will drop in on the US Embassy.

  4. I strongly disagree, this is not far right vs far left, it’s right vs wrong. The overwhelming majority of people in this country are opposed to the hateful un-American views of white supremacists simply because they are wrong.

  5. The author writes “Blaming the President is just a political game of the Alt-Left.”
    Um… have you been living on Earth at all lately? Blaming the president is what each side does whenever the president represents the opposite party. This is not unique to the “Alt-Left.” It’s unique to all shallow-minded simpletons from both sides.