“My father-in-law is not an anti-Semite.” In a way, it’s sad that anyone feels compelled to write such a statement, but that’s what politics has devolved into.
Critics pounced on Donald Trump over a retweeted image of Hillary Clinton surrounded by dollar bills, highlighted by a red star. This allegedly “anti-Semitic” image has been reported (and misreported) all over the world, and is allegedly proof that Trump is some kind of Nazi.
Jared Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, is also the publisher of the Observer. After one of his journalists wrote a negative piece on the controversy, Kushner took to the pages of his own publication to set the record straight:
Donald Trump is not anti-Semitic and he’s not a racist. Despite the best efforts of his political opponents and a large swath of the media to hold Donald Trump accountable for the utterances of even the most fringe of his supporters—a standard to which no other candidate is ever held—the worst that his detractors can fairly say about him is that he has been careless in retweeting imagery that can be interpreted as offensive.
Kushner, the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, related the harrowing story of this ancestors: The grandmother who’d escaped from a tunnel dug beneath the Jewish ghetto after 20,000 others had been killed; the grandfather who “had lived in a hole in the woods—a literal hole that he had dug—for three years, foraging for food.”
He added, “The fact is that my father in law is an incredibly loving and tolerant person who has embraced my family and our Judaism since I began dating my wife.
Kushner then made a point that no one else has picked up on but which rings true:
If my father in law’s fast-moving team was careless in choosing an image to retweet, well part of the reason it’s so shocking is that it’s the actual candidate communicating with the American public rather than the armies of handlers who poll-test ordinary candidates’ every move.
The entire essay is heartfelt and unequivocal — and probably not easy for Kushner to write. Having been put in such a position, he certainly rose to the occasion.