Israeli Minister Calls on Trump Administration to Condemn Nazi Symbols in Charlottesville

The first cabinet member to renounce the demonstration, Naftali Bennett decries the manifestations of anti-Semitism as harmful for not only Jews, but other minorities and veterans

A demonstrator holds signs during a rally in response to the Charlottesville, Virginia car attack on counter-protesters after the "Unite the Right" rally organized by white nationalists, in Oakland, California, U.S., August 12, 2017. Picture taken August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
A demonstrator holds signs during a rally in response to the Charlottesville, Virginia car attack on counter-protesters after the "Unite the Right" rally organized by white nationalists, in Oakland, C STEPHEN LAM/REUTERS

Education Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that the U.S. administration must condemn the use of Nazi symbols in a white supremacist rally a day earlier in Charlottesville, Virginia. Bennett was the first Israeli minister to denounce the demonstration.

A white supremacist rally in the town turned violent on Saturday and a man rammed his car into a crowd of counter protesters. A 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 injured, five critically. About 15 people were injured after rival groups fought pitched battles using fists, rocks and pepper spray in the streets. U.S President Donald Trump responded to the incidents by condemned the violence "on many sides."

"Flags and symbols that go unobstructed in the United States not only harm the Jewish community and other minorities, but humiliate the millions of American soldiers who paid with their lives to protect the U.S. and the entire world from the Nazis," said Bennett. "It is on the leaders of the U.S. to condemn and denounce manifestations of anti-Semitism that we have seen in recent days."

On Sunday, the White House said the Trump included the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups in his condemnation of violence after he was criticized on the left and right for not explicitly condemning white supremacists.

The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish NGO that combats bigotry, released a statement on Sunday afternoon calling on U.S. President Donald Trump to call out and condemn white supremacy in the wake of the violence that broke out the day before in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"ADL supports the response from many elected officials, public figures and community leaders and welcomes President Trump’s condemnation of hate and violence," the statement reads in part. "However, the president must clearly denounce white supremacy in all forms."