Kmart has removed a Christmas-themed drawstring bag from shelves in Australia after users on social media pointed out it mistakenly resembled support for the Hamas terrorist organization.
The $4 holiday bag, intended to store ham in the fridge, sports festive decorations such as mistletoe and a Christmas tree, with large text that reads "Merry Ham-Mas!"
The merchandise was initially criticized by the Australian Jewish Association (AJA), the New York Post reported.
"K-MART STUFF-UP! Check out the special Christmas bag currently available via Kmart online. Yes, it's real!!" the group wrote on X.
"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 embarrassment. So, we've politely written to Westfarmers corporate suggesting the product be pulled," the group added.
Other social media users also commented on the ill-conceived product, with many suggesting the AJA should focus their attention elsewhere.
"Faux outrage over a bag to store ham in at Christmas time…really clutching at straws here," one user wrote.
"I intend to politely write to the AJA and tell them that they don't have the right to decide what is acceptable for everyone. If you don't like it then don't buy it," another X account said.
Another social media user called the focus on the bag "rubbish."
"Why should I miss out on my ham and that joke bag from Kmart. Australia is still a free country," the individual added.
A spokesperson for Kmart later apologized for the bag in a statement to Politico.
"We got it wrong on this occasion and we apologize unreservedly," the company representative said. "When designing this product we clearly didn't think through all the implications and the product has been removed from sale."
In a later interview with The West Australian, AJA President David Adler applauded the retailer for removing the bag.
"It's not normal times. There are people that will distort things and will harass the Jewish community," he 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."
He also credited Kmart management for acting quickly to remove the product.
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