Varsity under fire for the publication of ‘antisemitic rhetoric’ in Jared Kushner profile

They have since issued an apology to JSOC and rebuttal article

anti-semitism cambridge university jewish society Donald Trump jared kushner JSOC NUS student journalism Varsity

Varsity has come under fire for an opinion piece on Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and orthodox Jew.

Published last Friday, the piece attempted to sum up the potential conflicts of interest held by Ivanka Trump’s husband, including financial matters and the alleged nepotism with which he achieved his position of Trump’s new right-hand man.

However, the piece also commented on Kushner’s Orthodox Jewish beliefs, citing them as evidence he is unfit to advise on matters relating to Israel and Palestine.

Comments criticised the article for ‘verging on the anti-Semitic’

 

Hardly mincing words, the article stated, “Kushner, an Orthodox Jew with strong ties to Israel, is in a position to undo all the progress that has taken place in the Middle East over the last few years. Kushner’s key duties will include handling all issues in the Middle East and Israel.”

The piece also made frequent reference to the supposed opportunist marriage between Kushner and Trump, as well as describing his ‘social network’ as ‘contaminating the White House’.

In reaction, a rebuttal piece criticising the anti-semitic tropes and language of the original article was published, stating ‘The notion that anybody’s religion creates a conflict of interest when they serve their country is a direct attack on that religion.”

The rebuttal further attacked the description of Ivanka and Kushner’s marriage as “a broader racist theme, and it also carries misogyny.”

Comments below the original article acknowledged that Varsity had issued an apology to Cambridge University Jewish Society for the article, the screenshot of which can be seen below.

Alex Szlezinger, President of JSOC told The Tab “Cambridge University Jewish Society wishes to express its deep concern over the recent publication of an article which explicitly contains antisemitic rhetoric. We have made a formal complaint to Varsity’s Board of Directors and are hoping for the removal of the offending article and a public apology to be made as quickly as possible. We thank the Varsity editorial team for their continued cooperation.”

Millie Brierley, Editor of Varsity, told The Tab: “The article in question was a Comment piece, and as such, represents nothing more than the opinion of the writer. The Comment section of our newspaper gives the wider student body, including students who are not on the Varsity editorial team, the opportunity to express their views on issues which concern them. Indeed, in this case a rebuttal Comment article has already been published online. The views expressed in Comment pieces published by Varsity do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editorial team that publishes them.”

“The Varsity Comment section has a long tradition of reflecting many differing views from many different students. Most newspapers, and indeed The Tab, too, have Comment sections for a reason, and that is to try to give (however briefly) voices to all areas of its readership.”

“Sometimes these views are challenging and controversial, and it is the case that sometimes, too, some of these views may offend.”