(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)