Sears pulls 'Free Palestine' clothing from its website

Sears will remove clothing line featuring the slogan “Free Palestine” from its website following complaints.

Elad Benari,

'I Love Palestine' T-shirt
'I Love Palestine' T-shirt
Reuters

Sears said on Tuesday it will remove a line of clothing featuring the slogan “Free Palestine” from its website, JTA reported.

The clothing was offered for sale by another company, Spreadshirt Collection, and included tank tops, t-shirts and hoodies featuring a variety of pro-Palestinian messages.

The clothing was offered for sale through Sears Marketplace, which offers a platform for third-party sellers to offer their wares through websites managed by Sears.

The designs included a clenched fist in the colors of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) flag and statements opposing “Israeli occupation”.

Other shirts feature a map of Israel, labelling the entire country “Palestine” and calling for its liberation. One shirt flashes a V for victory sign, another superimposes the image of a masked man covering his face with a kaffiyeh onto a PLO flag.

A description of one shirt encourages buyers to “Make a statement about the Arab-Israeli conflict with this powerful design,” calling it a “must-have for all wardrobes”.

A Sears spokesman told JTA later on Tuesday the apparel was pulled from the site based on feedback the company received.

“These items were being sold by a third-party seller via the Sears Marketplace,” said the statement. “Given the feedback we’ve received, they are being removed.”

The statement added that Sears felt it had been “unfairly singled out on this issue,” as similar items are available for purchase from other companies, such as Amazon and Walmart.

Amazon sells some of the exact same items from Spreadshirt, as well as a wide range of other pro-Palestinian Arab merchandise, according to JTA. It is unknown whether Amazon or Walmart plan to take action against the merchandise.

The Sears statement noted that the company serves “a broad base of customers around the country and around the world,” and that it has 200 employees in Israel.


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