Dayton Jews cautioned to keep away from KKK rally
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Dayton Jews cautioned to keep away from KKK rally

Rabbi Ari Ballaban calls on community members to not go to counter-protest but rather attend ‘positive alternative programming’ sponsored by the local NAACP chapter

Illustrative: In this April 23, 2016 photo, members of the Ku Klux Klan participate in cross burnings after a 'white pride' rally in rural Paulding County near Cedar Town, Georgia. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Illustrative: In this April 23, 2016 photo, members of the Ku Klux Klan participate in cross burnings after a 'white pride' rally in rural Paulding County near Cedar Town, Georgia. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Dayton called on the Jewish public to avoid a KKK rally set for Saturday in the Ohio city.

Rabbi Ari Ballaban said in a statement issued earlier this week that a counter rally scheduled to take place right next to the Honorable Sacred Knights, an Indiana-based white supremacist group, would just give the group the confrontation it is seeking.

Ballaban called on the Jewish community to either stay home or attend the “positive alternative programming” sponsored by the local NAACP chapter and a coalition of some 40 city groups. Titled “An Afternoon of Love, Unity, Peace and Diversity,” the program is being held about a mile from the KKK rally in downtown Courthouse Square.

About 20 members of the KKK group are expected to march on Saturday. They reportedly will be permitted to carry legal sidearm weapons but not rifles, bats or shields, Newsweek reported. About 1,000 protesters are also expected.

The city approved the rally in February after the application to use the public space was filled out correctly and submitted.

IDF Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Nitzan Nuriel briefs Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (Center) and West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio at the Gaza border as part of their AJC Project Interchange trip to Israel, May 9, 2018. (AJC/via Dayton Jewish Observer)

Mayor Nan Whaley also called on residents to steer clear of the KKK rally.

“This hate group that is coming in from outside our community wants to incite problems in our community and we want to stop that from happening,” she told Ohio’s Fox45. “We really don’t want people to go downtown because that’s what this hate group wants, and we don’t want to give this hate group what they want.”

Whaley in her comments also said that “Judaism values the preservation of life above almost anything else.”

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