A Jewish writer for the Observer, a news outlet owned by Donald Trump’s Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner, wrote an open letter to Kushner challenging him over his “tacit approval” of the Trump campaign’s culture of anti-Semitism.
The letter by Dana Schwartz—titled “An Open Letter to Jared Kushner, From One of Your Jewish Employees”—addressed a tweet from the Trump campaign on Saturday showing an image of Trump’s presumed Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, against a background of bills behind her and the words “most corrupt candidate ever” interposed inside a red six-pointed star that many critics claim represents the Jewish Star of David and the classic anti-Semitic association between Jews and money. Trump, however, has insisted the star represents a sheriff’s badge. The tweet was deleted a few hours after it was posted, and the same image was reposted with a red circle instead of a star.
Schwartz noted in the letter that after she criticized the original tweet, she received a barrage of anti-Semitic abuse on social media, several examples of which she included as screenshots with her letter.
Trump and his campaign, wrote Schwartz, “deny that the image—which had been found, previous to Trump’s tweet, on a white supremacist internet forum—has any Jewish implications at all. Instead of acknowledging the obvious, he and his campaign used it as an opportunity to undermine the free media in the style of the most dangerous regimes in history, and mock those like me, who had been getting strangers on the Internet telling her to put her head in the oven for the past day and a half.”
“I’m asking you,” she questioned Kushner, “not as a ‘gotcha’ journalist or as a liberal but as a human being: how do you allow this? Because, Mr. Kushner, you are allowing this.”
“When you stand silent and smiling in the background, his Jewish son-in-law, you’re giving his most hateful supporters tacit approval. Because maybe Donald Trump isn’t anti-Semitic. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think he is. But I know many of his supporters are, and they believe for whatever reason that Trump is the candidate for them,” she wrote.
Kushner, whose wife Ivanka Trump converted to Orthodox Judaism before her marriage to the media mogul, responded to Schwartz’s letter in a statement, saying his father-in-law “is an incredibly loving and tolerant person who has embraced my family and our Judaism since I began dating my wife.”
“I know that Donald does not at all subscribe to any racist or anti-semitic thinking. I have personally seen him embrace people of all racial and religious backgrounds. The suggestion that he may be intolerant is not reflective of the Donald Trump I know,” Kushner said.