New Delhi: Fashion giant Zara is facing a massive backlash online after its head designer Vanessa Perliman allegedly made anti-Muslim, anti-Palestine remarks in a conversation with a Palestinian model. Calls to boycott the brand started after Qaher Harhash, a Palestinian model from occupied east Jerusalem, took to Instagram and shared screenshots of his conversation with Perliman.Also Read - As Boycott Kareena Kapoor Khan Trends, Netizens Demand Kangana Ranaut, Yami Gautam To Be Offered Sita's Role
Defending Israel and putting the blame of terrorism in Gaza and Palestinians, Perliman allegedly wrote in the message: “Maybe if your people were educated, they wouldn’t blow up hospitals and schools that Israel helped to pay for in Gaza.” “Israelis don’t teach children to hate, nor throw stones at soldiers as your people do.”
“The people in my industry know the truth about Israel and Palestine and I will never stop defending Israel. People like you just come and go in the end. Maybe if your people were educated then they won’t go and blow-up schools and hospitals that Israel helped to pay for in Gaza,” she added.
Soon after these screenshots went viral, the internet was buzzing with hashtags like #BoycottZara and #ZaraMustApologise, with people slamming the racist and Islamophobic comments made by the designer. People also asked for the Head designer to be fired over her remarks.
A user shared that she emailed Zara for a statement too and the brand took a rather casual approach to her request. “Vanessa Perliman, a head designer at Zara, DM-ed a young Palestinian model this racist garbage and when she was called out, gave a lukewarm apology before deleting all her social media. I emailed Zara to demand that disciplinary action be taken and this was their dismal response.”
Another wrote, ””Probably 70% of my wardrobe is Zara. I buy something once a month minimum from Zara. But I can’t support a company that supports any type of hate speech.”
Her comments come less than a month after a bloody 11-day conflict ended between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.