NEW YORK, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- A manager at Bejeweled, a New York City jewelry store, said the swastika-shaped earrings her store is selling are not a Nazi symbol.
The manager told the New York Daily News the earrings that are being criticized by several Jewish politicians are actually of Tibetan origin.
The swastika is the Tibetan Buddhist symbol for eternity and was adopted by the Nazis, and people calling for removal of the earrings are "ignorant ... they don't know anything about symbols," the manager said.
City Councilman Steve Levin has called on the Brooklyn jewelry store to stop selling the earrings.
"It's totally outrageous," he said. "They should be sensitive to what that the symbol means to Jews around the world."
State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, called the manager's defense of the earrings "nauseating."
"The average person, when they see a swastika, they see it as a symbol of hate," Hikind said. "End of story."