US & Canada

Walmart's Israeli army Halloween costume sparks controversy

Screengrab of costume from Walmart website Image copyright Walmart

US supermarket Walmart has caused controversy by stocking an Israeli army Halloween outfit for children.

The costume is available on the store's website for $27.44 (£17.90) ahead of Halloween this Saturday.

Some users of social media expressed outrage at the costume. It comes at a time of spiralling violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

The store's "Sheikh Fagin nose", also available on its website, has likewise drawn criticism.

The latex prosthetic nose is described on the website as being "perfect for an Arab Sheik".

Its large, hook-nosed appearance and the use of the name Fagin - referring to a character in Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist - appear also to play into anti-Semitic stereotypes.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) costume was also heavily criticised by many on Twitter. Walmart has not as yet reacted to the criticism.

More than 40 Palestinians have died in unrest in Israel and the Palestinian territories this month, many killed carrying out attacks on Israelis. Nine Israelis have been killed and dozens wounded in stabbings and some gun attacks.

Image copyright Jastinder Khera
Image copyright Twitter

Earlier this year, an outfit inspired by transgender reality star and former athlete Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover was condemned as "transphobic" and "deplorable."

Another costume based on famed Zimbabwean lion Cecil, who was shot by an American dentist, was criticised by an animal welfare charity.

In 2013 UK supermarket chains Tesco and Asda - which is owned by Walmart - withdrew outfits for a "mental patient" and for someone from a "psycho ward" after they were criticised for stigmatising people with mental health issues.

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