Palestinians call for Zara boycott after Israel franchise owner hosts far-right extremist Ben-Gvir
Palestinian citizens of Israel have called for a boycott of Spanish clothing giant Zara after the franchise holder for its Israeli stores hosted notorious far-right extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir at his home.
Joey Schwebel, the Canadian-Israel franchise holder of the Inditex fashion group that includes Zara, hosted Ben-Gvir at his home for a campaign event, Israel's Channel 12 reported Thursday night.
Ben-Gvir heads the ultra-nationalist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) faction running in Israel's 1 November legislative election.
He regularly incites violence against Palestinians - taking part in settler stormings at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah - and has been personally involved in a number of violent altercations with Palestinians.
He recently pulled out a gun while confronting Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah and has praised Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli settler who massacred 29 Palestinians at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron in 1994.
Soon after Channel 12's report on the meeting, video circulated on social media of Palestinians, including Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, burning Zara clothes and calling for a boycott of the chain.
Palestinian Authority officials 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.
The brand faced boycott calls last year after a senior designer for the brand was caught making an anti-Palestinian tirade on Instagram, weeks after Israel conducted an 11-day bombing campaign on the besieged Gaza Strip.
The company later condemned the designer's comments.
Zara has also come under scrutiny for its alleged exploitation of China's minority Muslim Uighurs.