Kmart has been forced to pull one of its new Christmas lines from shelves after uproar from Australia’s Jewish community.
The Australian Jewish Association took umbrage with the store’s $4 Christmas “ham bag” which came emblazoned with a caption that read “Merry Ham-Mas”.
Not that you need reminding, Hamas is, of course, the terror group that invaded Israel on October 7 and murdered 1400 Israelis. Meanwhile, Israel’s violent retribution has dominated world headlines ever since.
Check out the special Christmas bag currently available via K-Mart online. Yes, it’s real!!
Although this is potentially funny (the AJA committee has tossed around some non-PC jokes) it’s really not a good look.
We suspect some product manager may cause the… pic.twitter.com/vGswVvvNG6
— Australian Jewish Association (@AustralianJA) November 8, 2023
Taking to Twitter/X on Wednesday the Australian Jewish Association said: “Check out the special Christmas bag currently available via Kmart online. Yes, it’s real!!”
“Although this is potentially funny (the AJA committee has tossed around some non-PC jokes) it’s really not a good look.”
“We suspect some product manager may cause the company some embarrassment. So we’ve politely written to Wesfarmers corporate suggesting the product be pulled.”
Following the tweet, Kmart agreed to immediately pull the offending item.
While social media users agreed that anyone who’d bought one now had a “real collector’s item!”
Another pointed out that Hamas itself would not be a fan of the item “considering the majority a) wouldn’t celebrate Christmas and b) likely don’t eat pork.”
Speaking with The West Australian president of the Australian Jewish Association Dr David Adler acknowledged that the incident was an unintended mistake.
“It’s not normal times, there are people that will distort things and will harass the Jewish community,” Dr Adler said.
“Of course, there are bigger issues to be addressed, dealing with the actual terrorism is important, but one of the other things we are dealing with is propaganda.
“I want to give credit to Kmart management as they acted very quickly,” Dr Adler said.
A spokesperson for Kmart admitted the discount retailer had “got it wrong” with its ill-timed ham bags.
The spokesperson said: “We got it wrong on this occasion, and we apologise unreservedly,” the spokesperson said.
“When designing this product we clearly didn’t think through all the implications and the product has been removed from sale.”