A group of young Israelis tried to initiate a consumer boycott against H&M about a week ago by hanging signs in the Swedish fashion chain's Tel Aviv store, calling on shoppers to refrain from buying products made in Turkey following the flotilla incident. They explained that many of the company's items were produced in Turkey.
The youths arrived at the store on Friday afternoon and handed out leaflets before being removed by the Azrieli Mall's security guards.
The leaflets included a picture of the Turkish flag covered with an X sign and the writing, "Most of the clothes in this chain are made in Turkey. By buying them you are funding anti-Israel terror."
"We are part of a group which marched today along the Yarkon River in support of the Navy," said Orion, one of the boycott's initiators. "We prepared signs in advance and decided to split from the march and come to H&M, because we knew from forums and publications that this chain sells clothes from Turkey.
"We put up signs in the changing rooms, and buyers walking around noticed the signs and began responding to them. We then stood outside the store and attached the signs to the shop window. The salespeople did not pay attention to us, and the guard at the entrance didn't care as well. We also started handing out flyers to those entering the store. That's when we were spotted and the person in charge called security."
A garment made in Turkey may actually be a multi-national product, as its cotton may come from Bangladesh and it is transported to Israel through Europe. But Orion says it doesn't matter. "As far as we are concerned, there is no reason to buy clothes from a country funding terror against us."
This was not the first time consumers sought to boycott H&M over Israel. Pro-Palestinian activists held protests in Europe when the chain opened its first three stores in Israel this year, and protest signs were hung in the University of California, Berkley.