Daily Israel Report

Nike's World Cup Video Slammed as Anti-Semitic

World Zionist Federation demands explanations over cartoon in which the symbol of evil looks like a Star of David.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/11/2014, 11:17 AM

Is a promotional cartoon launched by Nike ahead of the soccer World Cup anti-Semitic? Numerous viewers think it is, and the World Zionist Federation (WZF) thinks they may be right, reported Maariv/NRG Wednesday.

The futuristic cartoon shows the world of sport being taken over by an evil conglomerate that clones existing soccer stars, but whereas the original stars are all colorful people who take risks in the way they play, their clones are all gray and take no risks at all.

The conglomerate's symbol, worn by the clones, is the pattern formed by the hexagonal patches that are typical of soccer balls – but is also very similar to a Star of David. In one case, at least, it is worn by a basketball player.

According to Maariv/NRG, the head of the Department for Combating Anti-Semitism in the WZF, Yaakov Hagoel, has received dozens of angry complaints about the video since its launch two days ago, and he has written a letter to Nike founder Phil Knight, asking him to look at the clip and check if it was, indeed, “laced” wiith anti-Semitic imagery.

"We would be glad to work with you in Nike, in order to understand the true meaning behind these symbols and solve the problem,” Hagoel wrote. “We, in the Department for Combating Anti-Semitism take the complaints we received very seriously, and we will act resolutely in order to find out the complete facts.”

It is interesting to note that the cartoon begins with a depiction of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro and is titled "The Last Game," which could be a reference to the Last Supper.

The cartoon has been watched by over 16 million people in just two days.