Ivanka Trump calls for religious tolerance after threats on US Jewish centres

Ms Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump's daughter and a convert to Judaism, issued a statement over Twitter calling for "religious tolerance" after a wave of threats against Jewish community centres, her most vocal foray into a public discussion.
Ms Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump's daughter and a convert to Judaism, issued a statement over Twitter calling for "religious tolerance" after a wave of threats against Jewish community centres, her most vocal foray into a public discussion.PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) - Ms Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump's oldest daughter and a convert to Judaism, issued a statement over Twitter on Monday (Feb 20) calling for "religious tolerance" after a wave of threats against Jewish community centres.

The tweet was her most vocal foray into a public discussion and was made over an issue her allies say she feels personally.

"America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC," read the tweet, which was posted after she wrote, and then deleted, an earlier one moments beforehand.

 

Ms Ivanka Trump converted to Judaism before marrying her husband Jared Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, putting her in a position to be a prominent voice at a moment when several anti-Semitic episodes have taken place around the country.

Her previous substantive effort in the White House involved convening a women's business council, an event she helped create, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada visited the President.

On Monday, 11 separate bomb scares were called into Jewish community centres around the country. They were the latest in a string of such threats since the beginning of the year.

A spokesman for Mr Trump did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment about whether the President would condemn them as well.

Mr Trump, a prolific user of Twitter, had not weighed in by late Monday.

But he had been criticised in the past as slow to condemn anti-Semitic comments, and his candidacy was hailed by white nationalists and white supremacists throughout 2016.

On Thursday, at his first lengthy news conference alone as President, Mr Trump was asked by a reporter for a Jewish magazine how the government plans to respond to the increase in such anti-Semitic incidents.

The President responded angrily, saying the question was "insulting" and that he was the "least anti-Semitic person in the world".