Hundreds of enthusiastic shoppers waited outside the first local H&M store on Thursday, as the Swedish-owned fashion house opened their first store in Israel in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Center.
Immediately after the count down, dozens of customers ran into the store, practically trampling two baby strollers in their rush to enter, Channel 2 reported. Passersby managed to save the babies while shoppers continued to flow into the store.
“This place looks like the site of a terror attack,” one shopper told the television station.
Meanwhile in Europe, anti-Israel organizations in Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, the UK, Austria, Canada and Ireland were planning to demonstrate on Thursday evening against H&M’s decision to open shops in Israel.
According to Army Radio, a young Jewish man named Jonathan Sanchek, organized the protests. “This protest is about H&M opening in Israel, while it continues the occupation and in settlement construction. The Goldstone Report was published recently, and we think that one cannot open a store in Israel until it starts obeying international law,” the radio station quoted him as saying.
A statement calling on Europeans to protest against the store’s
opening in Israel was also published on the palsolidarity.org Web site.
“The familiar red H&M sign will be visible in the Azrieli Mall in
Tel Aviv and, a few days later, in the Malcha shopping center in
Jerusalem, a city gradually cleansed of its Palestinian population to
be replaced by Jewish-Israeli settlements,” the statement reads.
“H&M is thus investing in Israel at the same time as the UN
Goldstone commission and international organizations that H&M is
cooperating with, such as UNICEF and the UN, report about Israel’s
crimes against international law and human rights,” it added.