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ADL rejects anti-Semitism in Nike ad

Just because clones’ logos have six points, it doesn’t mean they’re anti-Jewish, watchdog says

Ilan Ben Zion is an AFP reporter and a former news editor at The Times of Israel.

Contrary to a Knesset member’s charge that a Nike World Cup ad is anti-Semitic, the Anti-Defamation League dismissed such claims saying that six points do not an anti-Jewish image make.

“Anyone who thinks this is anti-Semitism is certainly off base,” an ADL spokesperson said in a statement, rejecting a remark to that end by MK Shimon Ohayon of the Yisrael Beytenu party. “You can put anything in a configuration of six. Just because it appears to look like the Star of David, it does not mean it is.”

Nike’s long Internet ad, released Monday in advance of the kickoff of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Thursday, features animated international soccer stars competing against clones who have taken over the sport and sapped the game of its fun.

The diabolical automatons don a logo designed to appear like a soccer ball with six white spots on a black background, which Ohayon claimed is intentionally similar to a Star of David.

Ohayon, chairman of a Knesset caucus for the struggle against anti-Semitism, said in a statement that “the new anti-Semitic propaganda is insidious and conveys anti-Semitic messages in a subtle fashion, an example of which is the Nike Corporation.”

Ohayon accused Nike of “using Jewish symbols in sports products to transmit anti-Semitic messages.”

“You really have to use your imagination to believe there was ill intent here,” the ADL spokesperson said. “Imputing hateful or anti-Semitic intent only undermines our ability to combat and confront actual anti-Semitism.”

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