The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is sickened, revolted by, and strongly condemns, the neo-Nazi, white supremacist violence that rocked Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
This violence included a white supremacist, James Alex Fields Jr., using a car to kill 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injure 19 other people, many critically, in a murderous car-ramming mass-casualty attack reminiscent of some recent Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel and jihadist attacks in Europe.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA is sickened, revolted by, and strongly condemns, this blatant act of murderous terrorism and the hatred which undergirds it.
“Those who commit acts of hate-filled violence should be prosecuted to the utmost limits of the law.
“The violent throngs in Charlottesville, where neo-Nazi white supremacists gathered to oppose the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, were drawn to hear hate-filled, racist, neo-Nazi figures like former Knights of Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke.
“It is no coincidence that Duke was involved in the violence at another Robert E. Lee monument in New Orleans in 1972, where he dressed in Klan robes and placed a Confederate flag at the monument.
“Where neo-Nazis like the conspiracy-theorist, convicted felon and Holocaust-denier Duke appear, one can expect the worst sort of violent, evil racists to congregate and engage in violence.
“We are pleased that the condemnations of the Charlottesville violence and terror have come from across the country, across parties and from all levels of government.
“Antifa, which has a history of violence, destruction of property and intimidation, assaulting people asserting their free speech rights in Berkeley, was also involved in violence at Charlottesville. Nothing justifies violence and terrorism and the neo-Nazi white supremacists involved in the violence should, as we have said, be prosecuted to the full limits of the law. At the same, it would be factually incorrect to deny that vicious, hate-filled extremists feed off each other and welcome civil disorder and chaos. Neither must be allowed to succeed. We must condemn and dissociate ourselves from all violent extremists.
“We urge all levels of government to act to ensure the safety of all people who march or demonstrate without being subject to terrorist attacks and prosecute those who commit acts of hate-filled violence to the utmost limits of the law.”