For awhile there, Spanish clothing company Zara was selling this “sheriff t-shirt” with white and blue stripes and a yellow six-point star on it… which looks like the uniforms worn by Holocaust victims in death camps.
Made in Turkey, the shirt was being sold at Zara’s Israeli, French, Albanian and Swedish online stores, until Israeli journalist Dimi Reider from the Isreali and Palestinian independent anti-occupation website +972 Magazine reported the obvious similarities.
Hours ago, Zara pulled the product and responded, quite stupidly:
The item in question, part of the Cowboy Collection for babies, was inspired by the character of the sheriff in Wild West movies. The word ‘Sheriff’ is visible on the star at the front of the item. Nevertheless, we can understand the sensitive context and connotation that was created.
The item does not exist in Israel and as soon as the issue became clear, it was decided the product will be removed from shelves across the world and exterminated.
Aside from the fact that, classically speaking, it’s prisoners and not sherifs that wear striped shirts — yes, they actually said “exterminated.” Reider explains further:
The exact Hebrew word is “ויושמדו.” While it can also be translated as “will be destroyed,” hashmada is the exact word used to describe the Nazi genocidal practices – for example, Mahanot haHashmada, extermination camps. And since this is the precise issue on which the apology is being offered, few Israeli readers would miss the connotation. You’d think Zara would take the time to thumb through a thesaurus, or something.
(Image: Zara via +972 Magazine)