UK lawyers slam online retailer for selling ‘Make Israel Palestine Again’ items

Selling these items with the offensive slogan violates Etsy’s prohibited items policy and its policy on “items that promote, support, or glorify hatred.”

By Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner

The American e-commerce company Etsy has come under fire from a group of pro-Israel lawyers in the United Kingdom for selling merchandise on its website that promotes the destruction of the Jewish state following Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli communities.

T-shirts, baseball caps, sweatshirts, and more items bearing the slogan “Make Israel Palestine Again” are being sold on the website, which focuses on unique, handcrafted, or vintage items made by entrepreneurs wanting to grow their businesses.

A similar item listed as a “bestseller” on Etsy is a T-shirt that says in large text, “Resistance until reclamation generation after generation until total liberation.” The shirt also features images of Palestinians, including one person wearing a keffiyeh scarf and using a slingshot. Other offensive items being sold on Etsy include stickers that say “end the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”

Caroline Turner, the director at UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), wrote a letter to Etsy Chief Legal Officer Colin Stretch on Nov. 5 voicing concerns about the items featuring the slogan “Make Israel Palestine Again” and asking for them to be removed for the website. Writing on behalf of UKLFI, Turner explained how the phrase suggests that “there should no longer be a State of Israel, which as you are no doubt aware, is the aim of the terrorist group Hamas” during its ongoing war with Israel.

Turner pointed out that selling items with the offensive slogan violates Etsy’s prohibited items policy and its policy on “items that promote, support, or glorify hatred.” It also goes against other Etsy regulations and promotes illegal activity in breach of the UK’s Terrorism Act 2010, while wearing items with the slogan violates the UK’s Public Order Act of 1986, according to Turner.

“If the items being sold on the Etsy platform are worn by customers in a public place they could be seen to be supporters of Hamas, and they could also cause alarm and distress to Jewish and Israeli people, and those people that support Israel, which includes the UK government,” she explained. “We do not think that there is any argument for these items to remain on sale on their website given that they are in breach of Etsy’s own policy guidelines and that selling such items and wearing the items in public can be a criminal offense.”

The slogan is also not in compliance with the UK government’s Terrorism Act of 2000 for expressing an opinion or belief that supports a proscribed organization and “being reckless as to whether a person to whom the expression is directed will be encouraged to support a proscribed organization,” she said.

“We suggest that by advertising this merchandise for sale on your website, Etsy is endorsing the slogan and thus expressing an opinion or belief that is supportive of a proscribed organization (in this case Hamas),” she continued. “Since Etsy pages online are seen by multiple people, Etsy is reckless as to whether a person to whom the expression is directed will be encouraged to support a proscribed organization.”

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UKLFI drew attention last week to apparel and other items being sold on Amazon that bear the slogan “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free” — known as a call for the destruction of Israel, which is located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The slogan has also been used by those who defend the Hamas terrorist attacks perpetrated against Israel on Oct. 7 and during the current war between the Jewish state and the Palestinian terrorist organization.