JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Some Israelis are calling for a boycott of clothing chain Zara, and even setting its garments alight, after the head of the retailer’s local franchise hosted a campaign event for a prominent far-right election candidate.
Some Israelis posted videos on Twitter showing themselves burning Zara apparel after a local TV station reported that Trimera Brands chairman Joey Schwebel had hosted a roundtable with ultranationalist politician Itamar Ben-Gvir at his home last week.
Labor Party leader and Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli said that she will no longer shop at Zara in Israel due to the event, local media quoted her as saying.
Polls predict a joint ticket of Ben-Gvir’s party and other factional parties will win 12-14 of parliament’s 120 seats in Israel’s Nov. 1 election, turning the 46-year-old into a potential kingmaker of a future conservative coalition. That could inflame long-strained ties between Israeli Jews and the 21% Arab minority.
Trimera holds the Israel franchise for Zara, which operates 24 stores in Israel and 1,800 globally. Zara is owned by Spain’s Inditex, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Spokespeople for Schwebel and Zara described the event as private, declining further comment.
While not confirming the campaign event, Ben-Gvir said Schwebel faced “a boycott based on his political background”.
“That’s the real face of the left,” the candidate told Israel’s Ynet Radio.
(Reporting by Emily Rose; Editing by Steven Scheer and Susan Fenton)