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J.B. Pritzker targeted by anti-Semitic tweets

October 18th, 2016

J.B. Pritzker was the target of a flurry of anti-Semitic tweets this week during a discussion about the presidential election.

Pritzker is the Chicago venture capitalist whose fundraising efforts helped build the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in 2009. He’s a primary fundraiser for Democrat Hillary Clinton. He’s active on social media, a product of being heavily vested in the tech community. And he’s well familiar in dealing with detractors.

Still, the twitter barrage surprised him.”It was stunning. I’m surprised at how openly people are putting out this kind of hate,” he said, referring to a tweet that called for him to “go to the ovens,” a symbol of the horrors of the Holocaust.

The bullying started after CNN correspondent Brian Stelter reported on Twitter about Republican Donald Trump. On Oct. 13, Stetler wrote: “Trump’s talk of a secret banker/media/politico conspiracy has echoes of anti-Semitic tropes. The ADL is weighing in.”

Pritzker responded Oct. 15, saying: “Trump’s anti-Semitic undertones are now open declarations. Alt-right is all-wrong. Thx for being an upstander, Brian.”

That prompted the vitriol, including tweets about ovens–in one, a cartoon shows Clinton locked in an oven.

Pritzker blamed Trump’s campaign for providing “some cover” to people with anti-Semitic views.

Pritzker says he’s received his share of threats and push-back on Twitter, but this was different. “I’ve seen it before but never in quick succession in a single day by a lot of people.

Trump’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this year Trump was accused of anti-Semitism when he tweeted a picture of Clinton, a six-pointed star (historically associated as the Star of David), a pile of cash and the words “most corrupt candidate ever.”

The Anti-Defamation League denounced it as anti-Semitic.

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