There is no direct reference to worship of idols in the Vedas (There is reference to thinking image of Bhagwan and doing dhyan which is form of Saanketik Sadhna or Saanketik Moorti Pujan, idol worship). The Puranas and the Agamas give descriptions of idol-worship both in the houses and in the temples. Idol-worship is not peculiar to Hinduism. Few newest religions adopted this great concept: christians worship the cross. They have the image of the cross in their mind. The Mohammedans keep the image of Kaaba stone when they kneel and do prayers, but ignorantly deny the same. The people of the whole world, save a few Yogis and Vedantins, are all worshippers of idols. They keep some image or the other in the mind. [Even calling gods by names like allah or jesus is connoting image of god in the form of symbol or name. ॐ is the symbol that is also beginning of Idol worship.]
The mental image also is a form of idol. The difference is not one of kind, but only one of degree. All worshippers, however intellectual they may be, generate a form in the mind and make the mind dwell on that image.
Everyone is an idol-worshipper. Pictures, drawing, etc., are only forms of Pratima. A gross mind needs a concrete symbol as a prop or Alambana; a subtle mind requires an abstract symbol. Even a Vedantin has the symbol OM for fixing the wandering mind. It is not only the pictures or images in stone and wood that are idols. Dialectics and leaders also become idols. So, why condemn idolatry?