JTA - Swedish retail chain H&M apologized on Friday for marketing a Jewish prayer shawl-like fringed scarf and said the item will no longer be sold in Israel.
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“We are truly sorry if we have offended anyone with this piece. Everyone is welcome at H&M and we never take a religious or political stand,” the retailer said, according to Women’s Wear Daily. “Our intention was never to upset anyone. Stripes is one of the trends for this season and we’ve been inspired by this.”
The striped, beige scarf drew attention earlier this week, when its resemblance to a tallit, or Jewish prayer shawl sparked debate on social media. The company also sells a similar poncho, and in 2011 marketed another tallit-like poncho.
The scarf, which retails for $17.99, will still be available outside Israel, but “the quantities were small and the products are no longer available in some markets,” including Israeli stores “following a local decision of removal,” H&M said, according to Women’s Wear Daily.