+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

+972 Stream Item

ZARA apologizes, says yellow star shirts will be 'exterminated'

Following an international outcry this morning over a striped children’s shirt embossed with a yellow Star of David, fashion company Zara began removing the product page from its websites. While the statement from parent company Inditex was circumspect – explaining that the shirt was “inspired by classical Western films” and saying it was no longer available – the comment offered by Zara’s Israeli office went to greater lengths:

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.

You almost got there guys. You almost did.

We sincerely apologize if, as a result, we have offended the feelings of our customers.

*Slow. Clap.* 

Zara "Sherrif" Screenshot, 0937 27Aug2014

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.

ZARA presents: A striped pyjama with a yellow star for your child
Urban Outfitters’ yellow tee causes causes stir over Holocaust association

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. Joy Wolfe

      Not only have you offended with the product, but what complete insensitive idiot used the word exterminated in the apology with its obvious Nazi and Holocaust connotations

      Reply to Comment
      • Barbara

        I agree! To use the word exterminate is egregious and NOT forgiveable, whereas the pulling of the shirt may have been!

        Reply to Comment
    2. Henk

      I can hardly think of anyone supporting Israel any more than I do. But even I get really negative feelings for the people complaining about this shirt.

      First of all, the balls at the end of the star make it a sheriff’s star, not a Star or David. Second, it has the word “Sheriff” written on it, not “Jew”.

      The people complaining about this are actively searching for a way to feel offended.

      Reply to Comment
      • Hmm-Hmm.

        Well, there are still people alive today who have lived through the second world war. And a whole generation (at least) after it who grew up with the stories and repercussions.

        It’s not just the star, it’s also the stripes which call to mind a certain prisoner uniform in certain concentration camps. And then consider it being offered in Israel.

        Still nothing? Do you know anything about traumas? I suggest you read up a bit about those.

        Reply to Comment
      • Amanda Kuzyk

        Totally agree with you. There is nothing wrong with the shirt, I would put it on my child… ITS A COWBOY SHIRT!!

        Reply to Comment
        • nimrod

          A cowboy shirt? When or where have cowboys or sheriffs been walking around with stripes?

          Reply to Comment
      • Darile

        If 60 years ago 6 milion of your people got murdered becouse they are related to a certain religion , and to make it easy, to recognize”who needs to be killed” they forced your people to wear the e-x-a-c-t pijam.
        Im not sure, you had the courage to write this kind of comment.
        And if you are still being skeptical. Just google holocaust and enrich your ignorance

        Reply to Comment
      • mich

        clearly they knew what they were doing-especially when they say the will “exterminate” the shirt. a more appropriate comment would have been to “discontinue selling”or “remove” the shirts. how can people not complain-given the state of the the world, the situation in Israel and all the hate comments and crimes against the jewish population…

        Reply to Comment
      • daryl

        are you that much of a simpleton, or just anti Semitic like Zara?
        in 2014 it’s despicable for people/a company to show such hatred , towards a relative peaceful people too! where is the hate for Iran, Syria, Iraq etc…?If you cannot see that this is direct hatred towards Jews and meant to hurt people of that race, then look up the holocaust and see what the people that were gassed were wearing, you sir are an embarrassment to the human race.

        Reply to Comment
      • andreu

        I think the issue is that the shirt is striped…the designer is an asshole…the moderators of the page ass well for write exterminate, its a very very bad joke

        Reply to Comment
      • Natalie

        Siriously? If they made it that obvious as you said, they will get huge sue against it of billions of dollars, obviously they are very smart because they didn’t want every one to understand but just does who related to this history, Jewish. It may not say nothing to u and to u it had to say Jewish on it to be hurtful but google the holocaust pic’s and tell me it doesn’t look exactly like that, and off course they wouldn’t put the start of David with the word Jewish, I mean realy? And since when sheriff shirt goes with strips??? Wake up or maybe u just don’t care

        Reply to Comment
      • Bravo, Henk!!!
        You expressed the exact way I feel about this issue….

        Reply to Comment
    3. Etan


      In the professional jargon for Inventory management, the correct term was used for destroying inventory. Really, take offense at the products, those are really, really bad, but beware of bad translations of professional idioms.

      Reply to Comment