The Shmooze

Update: Pols Weigh In on Swastika Earrings

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

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A quick addendum to Renee’s earlier post on the swastika earrings for sale at a Brooklyn jewelry store.

The earrings have drawn condemnation from Jewish elected officials in New York, including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, and New York City Councilman Steve Levin.

And though the earrings aren’t exactly Nazi swastikas, the elected officials say that they still found them objectionable.

Stringer demanded the store recall the earrings in a press release issued earlier today.

As Renee noted in her earlier post, though the earrings for sale at Bejewled, pictured here, are swastikas, they are not Nazi swastikas, pictured here. While the arms of a Nazi swastika face right, the arms of the swastikas on the earrings face left.

Spokespeople for the elected officials said that the direction the swastikas faced didn’t matter.

“To the naked eye it’s a swastika, and the Borough President finds that unacceptable,” said Audrey Gelman, a spokeswoman for Stringer.

Ben Petok, a spokesman for Levin, agreed. “With all due respect to ancient traditions, the swastika was co-opted by the Third Reich and most Americans and American Jews who see that symbol today don’t view it as the ancient symbol, but view it as a sign of oppression and hatred.”


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