Jewish employee of Trump’s son-in-law writes open letter over antisemitism row

Writer says New York Observer owner Jared Kushner should do something to break up what she calls a culture of antisemitic hatred surrounding Trump

A Jewish employee of a newspaper owned by Jared Kushner, Donald Trumps son-in-law, has written an open letter to Kushner accusing him of tacit approval for a culture of antisemitic hatred surrounding Trump and challenging Kushner to do something to break it up.

Dana Schwartz, an entertainment writer at the Observer, wrote An Open Letter to Jared Kushner, From One of Your Jewish Employees on Tuesday. The Observer is a New York City-based paper that Kushner, the billionaire scion of a real estate family, bought in 2006.

Schwartz writes that she became a target of antisemitic hate speech after she took issue with a Trump tweet posted Saturday that included an image that House speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday called antisemitic. Schwartz challenges Kushner as a fellow Jewish member of the media to face what is happening in the barely concealed underbelly of his father-in-laws campaign.

Im asking you, not as a gotcha journalist or as a liberal but as a human being: how do you allow this? writes Schwartz:

Because, Mr. Kushner, you are allowing this. […] But when you stand silent and smiling in the background, his Jewish son-in-law, youre giving his most hateful supporters tacit approval. Because maybe Donald Trump isnt anti-Semitic. To be perfectly honest, I dont think he is. But I know many of his supporters are, and they believe for whatever reason that Trump is the candidate for them.

Trumps eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, converted to Judaism to marry Kushner in 2009. Kushner has played an increasingly high-profile role in Trumps campaign, participating at a high level in the decision last month to fire campaign manager Corey Lewandowski among other decisions.

The controversy sprouted when Trump tweeted an image of Clinton with a rain of cash behind her and the words most corrupt candidate ever appeared inside a six-pointed star. A short time later, the tweet was deleted and reposted with a circle replacing the star.

Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) July 2, 2016

Trump changed his Star of David to a circle. I took a screenshot of the original. pic.twitter.com/TkBxTaAORc

Though the original image was deleted, Trump did not apologize for it, or admit that it was derogatory, instead claiming that the star was a sheriffs star, or plain star.

Trump campaigns social media director Dan Scavino also tried his hand at cleaning up the mess, saying that he had lifted the image from an online source but it wasnt hate speech and he would never offend anyone. ( The image in Trumps original tweet was traced by Mic to a white supremacist message board.)

The explanations, wrote Schwartz in her public letter, were inane and condescending.

Look at that image and tell me, honestly, that you just saw a Sheriffs star, writes Schwartz. I didnt see a sheriff star, Mr. Kushner, and Im a smart person. After all, I work for your paper.

She continued:

The worst people in this country saw your father-in-laws message and took it as they saw fit. And yet Donald Trump in his response chose not to condemn them, the anti-Semites who, by his argument were obviously misinterpreting the image, but the media.

In the letter, Schwartz shares screen grabs of antisemitic hate speech that confronted her after she objected to the image online. They referred to ovens, invited Schwartz to kill herself, used images of Anne Frank and other Jewish caricatures.

Schwartz notes that Trumps campaign has a way of attracting hateful individuals, and challenges Kushner to imagine his own family as the target:

Mr. Kushner, I invite you to look through all of those images in the slideshow above, the vast majority sent in your father-in-laws name. Right now, this hate is directed to one of your employees, but the message applies equally to your wife and daughter.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/05/jared-kushner-new-york-observer-jewish-antisemitism

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