Many posts and calls for a boycott of Zara are currently taking over social media after Zara’s Israel franchise owner, Joey Schwebel, hosted far-right extremist Ben-Gvir.
Both leftist Israelis and Arab citizen, along with politicians, expressed their anger and condemnation of Schwebel’s act. Soon after Channel 12’s reported on the meeting, a video circulated on social media of Palestinians, including Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, burning Zara clothes and calling for a boycott of the chain.
Palestinian authorities have also condemned Zara for the Ben-Gvir meeting, while the Palestinian chief justice issued a religious ruling prohibiting people from dealing with the company, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Who is Ben-Gvir, and why are people angry about this?
Ben-Gvir is the head of the ultra-nationalist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) faction in Israel’s 1 November legislative election.
This man is known for regularly inciting violence against Palestinians – taking part in settler stormings at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. In addition, he has been personally involved in several violent encounters with Palestinians.
In addition, he recently pulled out a gun on Sheik Jarrah’s Palestinian residents and praised Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli settler who massacred 29 Palestinians at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron in 1994.
This isn’t Zara’s first controversial incident
The brand faced boycott calls last year after a senior designer for the brand was saying anti-Palestinian remarks on Instagram, weeks after Israel conducted an 11-day bombing campaign on the besieged Gaza Strip. She also attacked the Palestinian model Qaher Harhash with islamophobic rhetoric.
In addition, questions have been raised over Zara’s alleged exploitation of China’s minority Muslim Uighurs.