Comforting words for Jewish students at the University of Virginia

August 15, 2017 Agencies
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Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky has spoken out following the weekend’s neo-Nazi events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky addresses the opening plenary of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors meeting in Jerusalem. Photo : Lior Daskal for The Jewish Agency for Israel.

Sharansky said: “I am deeply concerned by the expressions of antisemitism and other forms of racism and hatred exhibited at the neo-Nazi rally this past weekend in Charlottesville, and I am horrified by the death of a protester at the hands of one of the marchers. These is no place for such hate speech or violence in any democratic society, and I am confident that American authorities will do everything in their power to bring the perpetrators to justice.

No student, Jewish or otherwise, should feel threatened at his or her university, and Jewish students at the University of Virginia should know that the local Hillel staff is available to them at all times, as is the Jewish Agency Israel Fellow at UVA.”

 World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder underscored  that the racist rhetoric and violence that unfolded in Charlottesville over the weekend have “no place, whatsoever, in our society”, adding that he hopes that “groups of all faiths and backgrounds can work together to foster an environment of tolerance”.

He said: “Like all Americans, I was appalled, repulsed, and sickened as I watched the events unfold in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. This type of rhetoric and violence has no place, whatsoever, in our society.

This afternoon, I was pleased to hear President Trump classify the events exactly as they were – racist and bigoted – and to specifically denounce the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists. These groups do not represent America, nor the freedoms that too many generations before us gave their lives fighting for.

As President Trump said, ‘we are created equal in the eyes of our Creator,’ and I hope that groups of all faiths and backgrounds can work together to foster an environment of tolerance to ensure the events of this weekend are never repeated.

The World Jewish Congress is at the forefront of the fight for tolerance across the world every single day, and the despicable actions of a few will not stop us.”

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