Culture, Mishegas

Strangely familiar "Anti-War Scarves" now at an URBN near you!

Remember last month when, writing about the Kaffiyeh Yisraelit, I said “in hipster enclaves such as Berlin and Brooklyn, the kaffiyeh is so ubiquitous it’s already passe [and] as a fashion item it is viewed by many in the Palestinian solidarity movement as a trivialization of the Palestinian struggle”?
Well, the kaffiyeh just got 10 TIMES MORE PASSE and 10 TIMES MORE TRIVIALIZED, thanks to Urban Outfitters (proprietors of the once famed money grubbing Jew t-shirts) who are now selling a variety of different colored kaffiyehs as — get this — anti-war scarves.


Ah yes, the anti-war scarf.

As you can see, it goes quite well with the anti-war RPG launcher.

It also functions rather nicely with the anti-war AK-47.

And, of course, don’t forget to accessorize with the matching anti-war suicide belt.
(Now available in children’s sizes.)

Considering the fact that Urban Outfitter’s CEO is a huge financial contributor to both the GOP and Rick Santorum’s PAC, you have to wonder if this was an intentional attempt to water down the cause celebre. “Well that ought to kill these things off once and for all…”
Yet I suspect it may have the opposite effect. Every ignorant kaffiyeh wearer (of which there will now be thousands) is a potential anti-Zionist convert, whether engaged by the pro-Israel camp or the pro-Palestinian camp. The pro-Palestinian camp will elicit their sympathy, using the kaffiyeh as an opportunity to engage them in conversation, while the pro-Israel camp will simply shout epithets at the wearer and terrorize them into Jew-hatred. (I’m sure some readers are already ramping up their e-mail clients to send nasty letters to URBN.)
Oh, how capitalism trumps all allegiances…
(c/o Weird Jews)

34 thoughts on “Strangely familiar "Anti-War Scarves" now at an URBN near you!

  1. Great photos — ROFLMAO.
    Still, I think the neck keffiyah , with a large yellow star stitched on it, might cause some zeolot brains to rupture into thinking…
    PS For those not closely attuned to PA politics, we put Santorum out to pasture (hopefully, next in line will be the Dick and his idiot-boy. In that order).

  2. I saw a kid walk out of an URBN on monday, open his bag and rap his thin neck in the blue version of the ‘anti-war scarf.’ It was on the UWS of Manhattan too.
    Perhaps they are only in the stores…got to love it!

  3. We sent letters to every member of the board, and to all the execs, including the Philly press, and lo and behold, we got a letter from Richard Hayne this morning that he pulled all sales of the scarf (except in the UK, natch)
    Standwithus rocks, and they got the job done!

  4. In the spirit of genuine inquiry, Mobius, can I just ask what the difference is between using a kaffiyeh for a scarf and using it for tzitzit, if it’s purely a symbol of hatred and violence?

  5. The Kaffiyeh is neither a symbol of hatred nor of violence. Its not a symbol of peace, either. It has some Palestinian nationalist overtones, but sometimes a scarf is just a scarf.

  6. the kaffiyeh has become a symbol of palestinian national resistance. i do not see it as a symbol of hate, nor do i see it as a symbol of violence. i do, however, see it as a symbol connected to war — war against zionism.

  7. hipsters i see wearing the kaffiyah, when asked about it have been, in my experience, less interested in Palestine davka, and more about solidarity with whoever the U.S. is warring against, hence the recent popularity, not so much before 9/11.

  8. it is unfortunate that the recent trend of fasion leans popularly to “resident expatriate” because as mentioned most hipsters that wear the kaffiyeh are not aware of what it means. unfortunate indeed. but, fasion is fasion, wheather it be in war or in peace so these kids have every right to wear them ignoarant or not of there origin. and urban outfitters has every right to sell them as well, it is a businness in these “free” united states. so if in turn they are pressured into removing them form there product line then they should remove every other offensive item for stock as well.
    but i dont hear any complaints about the jesus 8 ball, or the jesus flask, or the upside down american flag t=shirt, which should be formost in the complaint ranking.
    people in america often use the bible as their source of attach fuel, so what makes that less offensive?
    you the ggeneral public are the idiots. coexistence is a viable cause and if that means that a symbol of “national resistence” is in coutre then i suppose that is the neans to an end. i am taken aback that peopl on the UWS are offended by this product because it is sold in so many other stores in manhatten , but once it reaches those shelves, in a large cooperation, there is a lash back. i am dissappointed in this. very dissappointed.

  9. i’m not offended by it. i was just amused by the classification of it on the urbn website. i’m the guy who added tzitzit to his kaffiyeh…

  10. i agree with [solidarity????]. and i think this whole controversy is ridiculous and is getting out of hand. i find it rather pathetic that people are offended by the item of clothing. just because the scarf looks like the Palestinian scarf, does not mean that it has any relation to the Palestinians. maybe urban outfitters is trying to make a statement about selling it, hopefully turning around the meaning of mobius’ “symbol connected to war — war against zionism.”
    people wear offensive material everyday. it’s not like they’re wearing the nazi symbol on their arms — just because an individual wears those scarves, does not mean any form of hate towards jewish people.
    if you’re in isreal, i could understand the sensitivity of it but if you’re a jewish living in america, far from being killed, then i don’t see why you guys are offended by it.
    now give yourselves a pat on the back for having urban outfitters pull every single scarf off the floor.
    glad i got mine before they pulled it off. “a scarf is a scarf. fashion is fashion.” and to be honest, i have no hate towards jewish people but the mere fact that people are offended by it is going to make me wear this scarf to PISS people off.

  11. I find it offensive that you would assume that a so-called “hipster” who decides to purchase and wear a kaffiyeh is automatically ignorant of it’s origins. It may shock the Jewish community to discover this but there are a very large number of non-Palestinians who view the state of Israel as the terrorist organization and support an end to what they view as the victimization of the Palestinian people. It turns out not everyone believes the pro-Israel hype they’re bombarded with on televison and in the newspapers. Now I’m not going to delve into why this may be since this discussion doesn’t concern that. However, in the case of such individuals, the scarf represents their support of the Palistinian people and a position against a war that is being waged against them, making “anti-war” a very appropriate name for the scarf.

  12. only the black and red one are real, the rest of the colors urban has are just shambels.
    and most palestinians wear them, not just PLO members, or street fighters.

  13. Not all ‘hipsters’ ready to purchase a kaffiyeh are ignorant to its origins, or do they just consider it a fashion statement.
    I have wanted a kaffiyeh, and will purchase a kaffiyeh- full aware of what it is.
    It was worn by Palestinian peasants during the British insurrection. It was their symbol of rebellion and a symbol of class struggle.
    Being a history student, I can appreciate that.
    Yasar Arafat didn’t adopt or popularize it until the 60’s.
    You don’t like the symbol? Take the power away from the symbol.
    I will wear it because I like what it symbolizes…
    a people using their clothing to make a statement.
    We still do that.
    I won’t wear it with any ill will towards any group.
    Remember the ‘dictator hat’ that was a trend a few years ago- remniscent of the ones that Castro and the Cuban rebels wore during the revolution? I didn’t see America freaking out about that..

  14. Crazy Richard’s army surplus in Tel Aviv sells a kaffiyeh with the Star of David all over it. I bought one to wear when I go home to Sweden. If the fashion is the kaffiyeh scarf, fine. I just don’t want to be confused for anyone other than a supporter of Israel. I am pretty sure that a pro-Palestinian kaffiyeh wearer would never wear one with a Magen David all over it.

  15. If you go out in NYC, particularly the Village and SoHo, you’ll see those things sold on almost every corner and in every possible color. Some vendors sell no other type of scarves. A lot of kids wear them. I think there is most definitely a deliberate guerrilla marketing campaign underneath it, designed to make the anti-Israel cause and its symbols acceptable and commonplace.
    I think this would be equivalent to promoting and wearing the Nazi swastika armbands during WWII. The only difference is that back then multiculturalism and political correctness haven’t superseded the common sense yet.

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