In the wake of the Charlottesville car-ramming neo-Nazi attack that claimed the life of a young woman, the Israeli prime minister publicly condemns anti-Semitism and racism.
Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu communicated his dismay about the hate rallies and violence in Virginia three days earlier, which ended with several people wounded and the death of a 32-year-old counter-protester. “Outraged by expressions of antisemitism, neo-Nazism and racism,” Netanyahu declared via his “PM of Israel” Twitter account. “Everyone should oppose this hatred,” he added.
While race had been a primary focus of the Charlottesville rally on Saturday, organized by a patchwork of “white nationalist” groups, including neo-Nazis and even Klansmen, the demonstrators’ chants devolved into anti-Semitic tropes at various points.
Several commentators are criticizing Netanyahu, saying that as leader of the Jewish state, he should have delivered a quick rebuke rather than waiting until three days after the attack.
One chant at the rally morphed from “you will not replace us” into “Jews will not replace us,” while demonstrators hollered in unison “blood and soil” at another point, a slogan that hearkens back to Nazi Germany and the genocidal campaign of Adolf Hitler.
In addition to the chants, Nazi symbols were on full display at the rally, from actual swastika flags to a variety of other disturbing images.
Other Israeli elected officials also weighed in on the issue. “The unhindered waving of Nazi flags and symbols in the US is not only offensive toward the Jewish community and other minorities, it also disrespects the millions of American soldiers who sacrificed their lives in order to protect the US and entire world from the Nazis,” Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett stating already on Sunday.
Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, speaking for Netanyahu the following day, posted on Facebook his condemnation of the tragic event, calling the car ramming “an act of terrorism.” According to Dermer, Netanyahu said “these people should crawl back under the rock they came from.”