UN chief condemns neo-Nazism, politicians ‘who exploit fear’

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday condemned the recent white supremacist rally in the United States as well as “political figures who exploit fear to win votes”.

Speaking at the end of a three-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, the UN chief hit out at xenophobia and racism.

“The internet and social media are filled with hate speech and anti-Semitic imagery. And we hear on the streets of democratic societies the repeat of some of the most vile Nazi chants and charges.

“Just a few weeks ago ‘blood and soil,’ or ‘the Jews will not replace us’,” Guterres said, referring to neo-Nazi rallies in the US city of Charlottesville.

“Today anti-Semitism, along with racism, xenophobia, anti-Muslim hatred and other forms of intolerance are being triggered by populism and by political figures who exploit fear to win votes,” he added in a speech in the Israeli commercial capital Tel Aviv.

Guterres did not mention any politicians by name.

US President Donald Trump has been criticised in recent weeks for his response to the events in Charlottesville, where a woman was killed after an avowed white supremacist rammed his car into a group of anti-racism counter-protesters.

Many of the neo-Nazi attendees expressed support for Trump and his criticism of bigotry and hatred on “many sides” has come under fire. (AFP / Asia Pacific Daily – APD)

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