Walmart Yanks Israeli Soldier Halloween Costume

Walmart pulled an Israeli soldier costume and a “Sheik Fagin” prosthetic nose, after facing a backlash from social media.

The products reportedly were removed from the company’s website and from store shelves on Tuesday afternoon, hours after the American-Arab Anti-Discriminatory Committee called on Walmart and other retailers to remove the products as well as others deemed anti-Arab.

The committee, known as the ADC, was joined in its call by joined by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR; and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, or USPCN.

“The Israeli forces are a symbol of violence and fear for Palestinians living under occupation, and Palestinians around the world whom have lost their homes and been victims of violence at the hands of soldiers. A symbol of fear, violence and a long history of dispossession should not be used for entertainment purposes. An Israeli soldier costume is highly offensive to Arab-Americans, particularly those who have had family members, including children, killed by Israeli soldiers,” ADC said in a statement.

ADC also denounced the sale of “a variety of ‘Arab’ costumes, which is said “can lead to hate crimes against Arab-Americans.”

“The glorification of Israeli soldiers juxtaposed with the mockery of Arab people promotes an anti-Arab racism that is all too common in America. Walmart’s webpage for the item suggests that the nose is ‘perfect for an Arab Sheik,’ perpetuating racist tropes that have long been used to demonize, otherize and alienate Arab communities throughout history,” the group said.

Walmart did not indicate on its Facebook page or Twitter feed that it had removed the items, but they no longer appear on its website.

The product remained available for purchase on the Amazon website as of Wednesday morning.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Walmart Yanks Israeli Soldier Halloween Costume

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close