Boycott Watch  
April 24, 2012
ADL Errs on Urban Outfitters Claim, Refuses to Correct Itself
Summary:Boycott Watch realizes people can make mistakes, but when you refuse to recognize the error, you hurt your own brand.
   An article on the ABC News website titled Urban Outfitters Condemned for Jewish Star Tee speaks about how "the Anti-Defamation League condemned Urban Outfitters for selling a t-shirt with a symbol that looks like the yellow Star of David Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Europe."

   When Boycott Watch saw the article and the t-shirt, Urban Outfitters Kellog shirtdepicted here (Photo credit to Urban Outfitters), it was immediately clear to us the design had nothing to so with a Star of David whatsoever. We saw a 3-dimentional geometric box design. The ADL, however, has condemned Urban Outfitters by stating "We find this use of symbolism to be extremely distasteful and offensive, and we are outraged that your company would make this product available to your customers" and this "…represents a new low."

   When presented with the facts of the design, the ADL released a statement recognizing the fact that they did not understand the design, but the ADL still refused to retract their criticism of Urban Outfitters. The t-shirt was removed from the website, no doubt with an economic loss both for Urban Outfitters and the shirt designer.

   Fred Taub, President of Boycott Watch said "The ADL did not do their homework. They overreacted without getting the facts. Later, when presented with the fact that they did not understand the image and despite knowing they made a mistake, the ADL refused to apologize. It's an M.C. Escher design type and there is no point on top, therefore not a Star of David."

    Boycott Watch believes the poor reaction by the ADL hurts their efforts. "As someone who fights real Antisemitism, I am confused why the ADL put itself in the middle of this. ADL National Director Abe Foxman should know better" said Fred Taub. "By attacking non-Antisemitism as actual Antisemitism, the ADL is hurting its own image. Mr. Foxman needs to issue a statement of apology immediately."

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