What Made Ivanka Trump Tweet About Religious Tolerance

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Ivanka Trump issued a statement on Twitter on Monday calling for religious tolerance following 11 bomb threats made at Jewish Community Centers around the country.

The number and scope of these threats is unprecedented. In total, this year there have been 69 reported incidents targeting 54 JCCs in 27 states. "Since the beginning of this year, we’ve seen four waves of these threats — we’ve never seen that before," David Posner, the director of strategic performance at the JCC Association of North America, told The New York Times. Only one community center reported a similar threat in 2016, said Posner.
"America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers," Ivanka, who converted to Judaism before marrying Jared Kushner in 2009, tweeted with the hashtag #JCC.
Her tweet quickly drew critics on Twitter, who argued she should have used the word "anti-Semitism" to address the issue with the gravitas it deserves. Others weren't shy about pushing Ivanka to talk about the uptick in Islamophobia the country has been facing since her father's election.
The number of anti-Muslim assaults reached a 9/11-era high in 2015, with 91 reported assaults, which is just two shy of the 93 in 2001. This was a 67% increase from the previous year. And the number of anti-Muslim hate groups tripled throughout 2016.

While calling for religious tolerance is in and of itself positive, we hope Ivanka has other plans up her sleeve. She clearly exerts influence over her father, though she doesn't hold an official government position. This is a moment that calls for more than just a tweet — she could use her platform to host a roundtable on religious tolerance in the White House, just as she did when she led a discussion with women entrepreneurs last week. Or, she could start a conversation on Islamophobia in the U.S. and urge her father to reconsider his executive order on immigration, which many argue targets Muslims.

Having her father's ear gives Ivanka a powerful platform to speak out against hate and bigotry. While we recognize that it's of personal importance to Ivanka, as a person of the Jewish faith, to make a statement against the JCC attacks, we hope to see calls for tolerance of all religious groups from the first daughter.

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