HomeWorld NewsKmart removes Christmas ham bag after uproar from Jewish community
Kmart removes Christmas ham bag after uproar from Jewish community
November 8, 2023
A Kmart Christmas ham bag that has unintentionally plastered a pun that reads similar to the terrorist group Hamas has been pulled from shelves following uproar from the Jewish community.
Outline outrage has emerged after a bag used for leftover Christmas ham became the center of debate by the Australian Jewish Association.
It comes as the group criticises Hamas for its horrific string of attacks in Israel on October 7 — the catalyst for a gruesome war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
After an online campaign by the Australian Jewish Association gained online traction, a bag that read “MERRY HAM-MAS” was removed from shelves.
“K-MART STUFF-UP” the initial post by the association said as they claimed the slogan echoed similarities to the terrorist group, Hamas.
“Check out the special Christmas bag currently available via K-Mart online. Yes, it’s real!!”
Although the post acknowledged a Christmas-themed attempt at a pun by the bag’s designer, the post continued to vouch for the product to be pulled.
“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 embarassment. So we’ve politely written to Wesfarmers corporate suggesting the product be pulled.”
Just over an hour later the association made a follow-up post confirming the bag had been removed after they were contacted by Kmart “senior management”.
Speaking with The West Australian president of the Australian Jewish Association Dr David Adler doubled down on the decision despite the association knowing the bag’s graphic was not intentionally acknowledging Hamas.
“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.”
A Wesfarmers spokesperson confirmed to The West Australian the Christmas bag had been removed on Wednesday afternoon stating they “got it wrong”.
“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.”
As the Australian Jewish Association celebrated its campaign against the Christmas bag — calling it an “AJA success” — people were quick to criticise the group’s online crusade.
“We have real issues to deal with. This is not one of them,” one person said on X.
“People cook ham at Christmas. not everything is about you,” said another.
Others claimed the group was leaning toward cancel culture as they defended Kmart.
Since Hamas gunmen killed 1400 people and took some 240 hostages in the October 7 cross-border raid, Israel has attacked Gaza from the air and used ground troops to divide the area.
Hamas’ main stronghold inside Gaza city is encircled by Israeli troops as they reportedly ramp up their offensive into the city.
More than 10,000 people have died in Gaza as a result of the war while over 1400 have reportedly been killed in Israel since October 7.