“Although it’s potentially funny (our committee makes some politically incorrect jokes themselves), it really doesn’t look good. We suspect that some product manager may cause this company some embarrassment,” the Australian Jewish Association (AJA) wrote on social media, adding that it had “politely requested” Kmart to withdraw the bag of ham with the unfortunate pun from sale.
The inscription “Merry Ham-mas” is based on the traditional English Christmas card “Merry Christmas”, but Christ in the second word has been replaced by ham – English “ham”. The Christmas theme is complemented by decorated trees instead of the letter A and the red-green tuning of the inscription. On the other side of the bag there are also instructions on how to keep the ham fresh longer.
In the current context, however, Kmart’s pun is also reminiscent of the Palestinian terrorist movement Hamas, which murdered over 1,400 people in Israel at the beginning of October. And store management recognized it. Therefore, about an hour after the original post, the Jewish Association reported that it had been contacted by company executives and assured that the bag would be removed from the site’s offerings.
“In this case we were wrong and we apologize unreservedly. We clearly did not think through all the implications when designing this product and the product has been withdrawn from sale,” said a spokesperson for Westfarmers, which operates Kmarty.
Australian Jews praised the company’s swift response and acknowledged that there appeared to be no malicious intent behind the slogan. “However, we do not live in normal times, there are people who will twist things and intimidate the Jewish community,” said AJA President David Adler.
November 8, 2023 at 10:35 a.m. Post Archived: November 9, 2023 at 10:07 a.m.