The Slatest

Observer Writer Calls Out Her Boss, Trump’s Son-in-Law, Over Trump’s Anti-Semitic Tweet

Ivanka Trump, center, and her husband, Jared Kushner, stand with Melania Trump as they listen to Donald Trump speak after his victory in the New York state primary.

John Moore/Getty Images

Update, 7:15 p.m.: Observer publisher Jared Kushner released this statement in response to Dana Schwartz’s open letter.

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Original Post: In a searing open letter published on Tuesday in the Observer, culture writer Dana Schwartz savaged Observer owner Jared Kushner for choosing not to criticize Donald Trump’s now-infamous Star of David tweet. Kushner is married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.

In the letter, Schwartz highlighted anti-Semitic responses she received after responding to the tweet and dismissed excuses offered for Trump’s use of an image that originated on a white supremacist forum and that juxtaposed a photo of Hillary Clinton, a pile of money, and a six-pointed star:

Here are some of the excuses I’ve seen, both from Mr. Trump’s camp and Trump supporters:

· “It’s available on Microsoft shapes.” There are a lot of symbols you can make on Microsoft Word, and sometimes symbols SYMBOLIZE ideas, concepts, or groups. A cross for instance. I feel silly explaining this to you. This explanation is so inane that I feel so condescending refuting it to you, ostensibly my boss, that it feels insubordinate.

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· “It’s a sheriff star.” Because users on the white supremacist forums where this image was found were no doubt implying Hillary is in the pocket of the sheriffs. You know, sheriffs. The group stereotypically associated with greed and money.

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· “He didn’t make it; he’s too busy to pay attention to everything he tweets out.” This is not an excuse for racism. Mr. Trumps twitter account is seen by millions of people, and he is responsible for the message he’s sending to his supporters. Besides, Mr. Trump is running for president. Making mistakes because he wasn’t “paying attention” isn’t an excuse that qualifies him for the highest office in the land in any way.

· “It was an accident.” Then where is the apology?

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Schwartz goes on to call on Kushner, who, like her, is Jewish, to repudiate both Trump’s tweet and his pattern of subtly reaching out to anti-Semitic backers:

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And now, Mr. Kushner, I ask you: What are you going to do about this? Look at those tweets I got again, the ones calling me out for my Jewish last name, insulting my nose, evoking the holocaust, and tell me I’m being too sensitive. Read about the origins of that image and see the type of people it attracted like a flies to human waste and tell me this whole story is just the work of the “dishonest media.” Look at that image and tell me, honestly, that you just saw a “Sheriff’s Star.” I didn’t see a sheriff star, Mr. Kushner, and I’m a smart person. After all, I work for your paper.

In a New York Times article published on Monday, it was reported that Kushner’s friends have said Kushner does not think Trump is anti-Semitic and believes “that the issue is not worth addressing.” As of the publication of this story, Kushner had not responded to Schwartz’s letter.

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