Varsity apologises to JSoc after publishing "anti-Semitic" article

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Varsity has been condemned by the President of JSoc for publishing a comment piece about Jared Kushner, adviser and son-in-law to Donald Trump and a Modern Orthodox Jew, “which explicitly contains anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

The article, entitled “Jared Kushner: the most powerful man you’ve never heard of”, alleges that Kushner “has entered White House only through money and nepotism” [sic], before claiming that “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”.

The article has since been removed from Varsity's website.

A rebuttal piece, also published in Varsity, criticised the headline for employing the “century-old anti-Semitic trope[…]” of “the Jew exerting power undetected”. The article also drew ire for its claim that “religion” is one of Kushner’s “conflicts of interest”.

The writer of the rebuttal said: “The notion that anybody’s religion creates a conflict of interest when they serve their country is a direct attack on that religion.”

Varsity has since issued an apology to the Cambridge University Jewish Society for the article.

Speaking to The Tab, Alex Szlezinger, JSoc’s President, said: “Cambridge University Jewish Society wishes to express its deep concern over the recent publication of an article which explicitly contains anti-Semitic 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 Brierly, Editor of Varsity, told TCS: “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 Cambridge Student, 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.”

The original article has since been removed from Varsity's website. 


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