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World to Trump: Stand up against racism, neo-Nazis

Posted August 16

Public figures in Israel, Germany, the United Kingdom and elsewhere have condemned President Donald Trump's latest remarks on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which he laid blame on "both sides" for the deadly violence which erupted.

Such international criticism joined that of many lawmakers and commentators from both sides of the aisle in the United States.

A handful of voices from the far-right offered veiled or open support for Trump's remarks -- reflecting his enduring appeal to a range of populist and anti-immigrant groups outside the United States.

But they were far outweighed by those expressing outrage.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas directly criticized Trump in a statement early Wednesday, saying: ''It is unbearable how Trump now also glosses over the violence during the march of the right-wing protests in Charlottesville.

"Nobody should trivialize the anti-Semitism and racism of neo-Nazis. When it comes to right-wing propaganda and violence, there is nothing to relativize.

"All democrats should together take a clear stance against it."

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres tweeted: "Racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism & Islamophobia are poisoning our societies. We must stand up against them. Every time. Everywhere."

UK PM: 'No equivalence'

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said there was "no equivalence" between those who "propound fascist views and those who oppose them," when asked Wednesday about Trump's comments, a Downing Street spokeswoman told CNN.

"I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them," May said at a naval ceremony in Portsmouth, England.

A number of other British lawmakers were heavily critical of Trump's comments.

Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities, posted on Twitter that he'd learned as a child that neo-Nazis were bad and anti-Nazis good. "It was pretty obvious," he said.

Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland, tweeted: "The President of the United States has just turned his face to the world to defend Nazis, fascists and racists. For shame."

Prisons and Probation Minister Sam Gyimah tweeted: "Words matter. Silence matters. We must call out hate -- unambiguously -- to preserve the free & tolerant society many have fought & die for." He later added: "The 'leader of the free world' loses moral authority when he cannot call fascism by its name."

Israeli Member of Knesset Tzipi Livni also slammed Trump's comments equating both sides in the Charlottesville rally.

Livni, the former Israeli Foreign Minister, tweeted Wednesday: "In Nazism, anti-Semitism and racism there are never two equal sides -- only one side is evil. Period."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu only commented after Trump condemned racism and neo-Nazis in remarks on Monday, tweeting Tuesday: "Outraged by expressions of anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism and racism. Everyone should oppose this hatred."

Netanyahu was silent about the rally at his weekly statement at the Sunday cabinet meeting. Instead, Netanyahu said Israel would welcome Trump's representatives to the region before switching to talking about domestic security.

Voice of support

Far-right groups around Europe have remained largely silent over the events in Charlottesville and ensuing backlash against Trump's comments.

But Nigel Farage, the former leader of Britain's UK Independence Party and a Member of the European Parliament, backed Trump's argument that leftists were forcing the rewriting of US history through efforts to remove Confederate monuments and symbols from public spaces. It was one such initiative that brought white nationalists and others to Charlottesville to protest in a park that is home to a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Commenting on a quote from Trump in which he asked whether statues of former President George Washington would also be taken down, since he was a former slave owner, Farage said: "I am very pleased @POTUS had made this point. We must not rewrite American history to suit the hard left."

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