Shalom Life | October 19, 2014

Etsy Called Out For Selling Anti-Semitic Paraphernalia

The online vendor has been called out for selling almost 1000 items emblazoned with swastikas or Hitler’s likeness.

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: October 17th, 2014 in News » World

Etsy Called Out For Selling Anti-Semitic Paraphernalia

Etsy, a site which allows vendors and artisans to sell handmade and antique articles, has recently been slammed for selling anti-semitic paraphernalia.

According to The Jerusalem Post, B’nai B’rith International (an organization which defends Jewish rights, culture, and speaks out against anti-semites) is slamming the company for having almost 1000 Nazi themed pieces for sale online.

The group released a statement on Wednesday which according to the article claims, “When B’nai B’rith checked the site in recent days, 456 swastika- themed items were available for sale, as were 479 Hitler- themed items, 13 Ku Klux Klan-themed items, and one racist, Jewish caricature candlestick listed specifically under the topic ‘anti-Semitic.’” Although The Jerusalem Post claims that the candle has since been removed from Etsy’s website.

Interestingly enough, Etsy has removed all items emblazoned with the Redskins emblem as they, according to the article, “it has long been against our policies to allow content on our site that demeans people based upon race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation.”

This isn’t the first time, nor the last, that a major retailer has released anti-semitic for sale through its website. Sears, Walmart and Amazon were called out for selling a poster with the gates of Dachau and the words “Arbeit Macht Frei” (work will make you free) on it in the home decor section. Seas was also called out this past week for selling men’s swastika rings on their website. Even Zara has been brought to light for selling concentration camp shirts which they claimed had been intended to capture the theme of the Old West and not promote or be insensitive of the Holocaust.

Whatever their reasons may be, companies need to be aware of the products sold through their websites and do a better job of policing third party vendors to prevent the sale of anti-semitic merchandise.

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