First, if you were planning to purchase the Israeli Soldier Costume for your kids, which was sold by Walmart for $27.44 (reduced from $57.62 — you save $30.18) on the eve of Halloween, it is currently out of stock. But it isn’t clear whether the item, which comes complete with shirt, pants, belt and hat and looks a little like the 1950s IDF, was really sold out, or taken off the company’s virtual shelves because of customer reviews like these:
“Costume of the Chosen Apartheid Army,” was the title of the review by HasbaraForTheSheeple, which stands for “propaganda for sheep” (not his real name). It read: “Your little one can now go to his friend’s house, and take over their bedroom, and all of their toys and claim that God has given him/her the right to take it. If the friend refuses, your little IDF soldier can respond with force, and if they fight back, claim anti-Semitism, the right to defend their new room full of God given toys and level the whole family and neighborhood block!”
Which proves that you can hate Israel and still keep your sense of humor.
Shareef777 was less elegant, commenting: “Wow, utterly insensitive and immoral!” and adding, because somebody had to bring up the Holocaust: “Might as well sell a Hitler outfit for children as well! Pitiful!”
The next one, from wom1234, we had to look up. She wrote: “Seriously? How is this any better than the Pashtun Papa costume?”
Well, back in the fall of 2014, after it had apologized and removed the online shopping category titled “Fat Girl Costumes,” Walmart went ahead and offered a costume called the “Pashtun Papa,” as in the Afghani Pashtun tribes. The online store raved: “Whether you’re making a serious political statement or staging a political parody, this authentic-looking outfit is sure to fit the bill!” Drones and Hellfire missiles sold separately…
As to the kids dressed in IDF uniforms, Laila El-Haddad tweeted: “Fun! Dress kids as the #IDF 4 #Halloween, steal other kids candy, then egg their house & claim it was 4 security!”
A theme was emerging, as you could probably tell.
Afshin Rattansi, less delicately, a whole lot less, tweeted: “Perfect Halloween/Festival of Satan costume from Walmart?”
And Jessica Baroody tweeted: “Wal-Mart is selling an Israeli Army costume for your little IDF in training. And a ‘Sheik Fagin Nose’ for your culturally insensitive nephew.”
Yes, Walmart actually offered a latex called “Sheik Fagin Nose,” combining Charles Dickens and Lawrence of Arabia in a truly disturbing show of anti-Semitism and anti-Arabism, all of it for just $9.52. The item is gone from at least the online store, pheew…
A separate website, which is still selling the IDF outfit, extolled the IDF’s human values: “Defend your Jewish heritage proudly by wearing the Israeli Soldier Boy’s Costume! The Israeli Defense Forces have a mission to protect the land and the people of Israel from outside threats with low casualties, and to avoid waging war if at all possible.”
Incidentally, we’re told Walmart also sells an Israeli police officer costume for children, and no one’s been complaining.