Jewish shoppers across the world have been rushing to back Israeli brands that are being blacklisted by international retailers over their condemnation of the Hamas terror attacks.
Israel declared war on Hamas on October 7 after the terror group unleashed a brutal attack on Israeli civilians that killed over 1,400 people. Pro-Palestinian crowds, however, have been protesting regularly across the globe since the start of the war, as well as waging anti-Israel campaigns on social media.
One of these campaigns has recently led to most major international luxury retail sites boycotting Israeli fashion designer Dodo Bar Or, and removing all her products from its online stores.
Influencer and pro-Palestine activist Liud Milah took to her social media earlier this week, asking all fashion retail platforms to remove Bar Or’s products from their sites, and calling on her followers to pressure the retailers to do so.
The appeal allegedly was in response to the Israeli designer posting a video where she compared Hamas to the Islamic State (IS). The video was based on the 1996 Hollywood film “Independence Day” and was edited in a way that made the end scene look like a terror attack, with the hashtag “Hamas = ISIS” being splashed across the screen.
At one point of the video, an alien spaceship is seen hovering in the air, adorned with digitally attached flags, including those of Iran, Hezbollah, IS and Palestine. The video has since been deleted from Bar Or’s Instagram page.
According to the influencer, Bar Or’s condemnation of the terror attacks was a “propaganda that actively endangers the lives of anyone fighting for justice.”
She claims the video intends to equate all Palestinians with terrorism even though the clip targets Hamas specifically and is accompanied by a hashtag “Free Gaza from Hamas.”
Nonetheless, the companies the activist had tagged in her post appeared to have sided with the pro-Palestinian influencer, promptly removing Bar Or’s brand from their retail sites.
Among the companies that dropped the designer are UK-based YOOX NET-A-PORTER (which owns online platforms Net-a-Porter, Outnet and Yoox), Matches Fashion, Farfetch and Harvey Nichols; German e-commerce giant Mytheresa (which later reinstated her products on its site); Amazon subsidiary Shopbop; and Italy-based Luisa Via Roma.
A spokesperson for YOOX NET-A-PORTER was quoted as saying that “discrimination, hate, and violence have no place on our platforms. We apply this policy consistently to all brands we stock in all markets. After content appeared that was offensive and inflammatory, the brand in question has been suspended from our sites.” However, Bar Or’s products were returned to the website following popular pressure.
Jewish shoppers have been flooding social media, vowing never to buy from the companies that banned Bar Or. They also promised to support the designer independently by purchasing pieces through her official website.
“I was in shock, but also not surprised as more parts of the world have been ignorantly turning on Israelis and Jewish people in the last few weeks,” Jewish, Brooklyn-based stylist Liz Teich tells ISRAEL21c.
“Antisemitism is quickly increasing globally these last few weeks, and these actions unfortunately are contributing to allowing it to be okay to cancel those who speak out against terrorism.”
Ulta Beaty Vice President Kiley Rawlins said that Ahava is still available for purchase in selected stores and is not showing on the site due to a “technical error,” though no other brands seem similarly affected.
“The narrative has changed; anyone who supports Israel is now a bad person,” says Teich. “As someone who works in the fashion industry, I’m livid at their decision to drop [Dodo Bar Or] solely because the owner condemned a terrorist group that attacked her country.”
“I can see how it can be offensive to some, thinking it’s fueling Islamophobia,” she continues. “However, her comments should not be offensive to any human that isn’t siding with terrorists.”
Teich, who has family in Israel, says people must fight retail discrimination of Israeli brands. “Your wallet is a great way to take a stance,” she adds.
“You can avoid sites that have dropped brands condemning a known terrorist group and shop small independent Israeli and Jewish brands directly. They need the support right now, and many of them are giving back to the victims of the attacks.”
Teich says that on her website she has compiled a list of such brands, which she updates regularly.