This is just ridiculous, I mean am I missing something here? See, Urban Outfitters had this t-shirt that they were selling online. Designed by a Danish clothing brand called Wood Wood, the shirt, which retails for $100(!!) is mustardy yellow and features an embroidered blue logo shaped like a Star of David. Here, check it out:

Well, this shirt caught the attention of one Barry Morrison, a regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. Apparently he took offense to the design, calling it “a new low” for the sometimes controversial clothing retailer. Why? In a letter he wrote to Richard Hayne, Chairman, President and CEO of Urban Outfitters, he said the design was associated with the yellow Star of David symbol Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Europe: “We find this use of symbolism to be extremely distasteful and offensive, and are outraged that your company would make this product available to your customers.” The ADL is calling on Urban Outfitters to issue an immediate apology, remove the offending t-shirt from their catalog, and meet with ADL reps for what I assume will be a stern spanking.

What the Yellow Star actually looked like

Now, I’m no Holocaust expert or anything, and far be it from me to note the shrill tone of the ADL, which is tasked with fighting Antisemitism, racism and discrimination, but I have to ask, “What are you thinking???” I mean, it’s a blue star, not a yellow star and it doesn’t have the word “Jude” or “Jood” or “Juif” on it or anything of the sort. I don’t get it at all. Maybe it’s because the shirt is yellow? Thus any juxtaposition of a yellow shirt and a Jewish star can be deemed to be offensive? I don’t know. Like I said, I’m no expert, maybe the ADL really knows best, right? Right??

If so then it behooves me to inform Barry Morrison and the ADL of another grievous offense to the memory of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It seems that an organization is wearing and selling entire outfits and uniforms using the same deeply offensive yellow shirt, blue Star of David template that Urban Outfitters and Wood Wood used. I hate to provide these people with any further publicity, but the sanctity of the Holocaust and historical accuracy demands that these insensitive bastards feel the wrath of the ADL. Here, let me show you an image:

What you see above is the very disrespectful logo of the Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer club. The Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball team also uses the same logo and color scheme. Yes. Yellow shirt, blue Star of David. They too need to issue an immediate apology, pull all their apparel from stores and meet with ADL representatives for some sensitivity training. The Maccabi teams are among the most beloved sports teams in all of Israel so teaching these people some sensitivity might be quite the herculean task. As such, given that I am already in Israel, I’ll volunteer to sensitize the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball cheerleaders ok? Look at how they brazenly wear that Star of David! This is totally evocative of the Holocaust, and in a disrespectful way too.

I’ll set those wayward ladies straight. What can I say? Much like the ADL, I am a humanitarian at heart.

** UPDATE APRIL 23, 2012 **

Co-Founder of W.W., Brian SS Jensen (I’m not kidding. “SS”) issued the following statement in response to the t-shirt controversy:

as some of you are aware, several news sites have been writing about our ‘Kellog’ T-shirt, which feature an image of a six-pointed star, allegedly similar to the yellow badge jews were ordered to wear by the German nazis.

First of all the graphic is not the Star of David, and I can assure you that this is in no way a reference to judaism, nazism or the holocaust. The graphic came from working with patchwork and geometric patterns for our spring/summer collection ‘State of Mind’.

However when we received the prototype of this particular style we did recognize the resemblance, which is why we decided not to include the star patch on the final production T-shirt.

I assume the image people have reacted to comes from Urban Outfitters´ web site. This must be a photograph of an early prototype.

I am sorry if anyone was offended seeing the shirt, it was of course never our intention to hurt any feelings with this.

Brian SS Jensen,

In the meantime the grossly offensive blue Star of David is till featured on the WoodWood Web site. Ha ha.

About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • What is ‘stupid’ is you calling ADL stupid. You can disagree with them (in this case you are 100% WRONG), but calling an historic and important organization ‘stupid’ is just plain…. STUPID!

    • Paul, as you know I’m a big fan of yours. But I have to ask you, when did I call the ADL stupid? I readily admit that I don’t understand how a blue star with an abstract design on a yellow shirt is offensive in any way. Now maybe the ADL wants to chime in or you may wish to explain it to me – but seriously, I’m at a loss to explain the outrage here. What’s it based on Paul? Please explain it to me like I’m a 5 year old child. That’s how befuddled I am….

    • Paul, there is a place for the ADL in our society. Unfortunately, they are not always effective and some of their missteps end up causing far more harm than good. And as a personal aside, I should add that my PERSONAL experience with them has been that they are completely ineffective. Having said that, I got the impression the “stupid” part was the controversy, not the ADL.

  • No, paul jeser, actually today’s ADL creates anti-semitism by manufacturing controversy when there is none, and by promoting policies that create preferred classes of victim privilege. The best thing the ADL could do at this point is merge with a larger organization that understands that crying wolf over anti-semitism is harmful, and has competing interests that will help preempt such destructive behavior and tantrums.

    It’s time for the ADL to either be consolidated and downsized. The radical hypersensitives must not be permitted to speak as communal spokesmen.

  • Maybe has to do w fact of whom did it. You know, they’re assuming that a non-Jew did it. Hence, could be misinterpreted.
    There is a triangle symbol of blue over yellow (if I recall correctly for gay Jews but blue over blue none that I know. Color could be an unconscious instigator tho. Unsure.
    Kinda like Blacks calling each other by names that non-Blacks should not use. Or gays calling each other “queer”. They can do it.

    Or me saying French are smelly frogs (I’m originally French)
    Its a slight nuance and even if football shirt is not joke it’s acceptable bc Jews made it.

    I hope I made sense. Just sharing. Honestly I don’t know what to conclude. Just making observation that’s all.

    Peace, xoxo to all,

    Crazy owl

    • Hi Sam,
      You can check out Jewish Virtual Library for a list of Holocaust era badges in Dachau. A blue triangle meant emigrant and a blue triangle over a yellow triangle meant Jewish emigrant. I just don’t see the controversy here at all.

  • If you look at the second t-shirt view in the link, and zoom in, you’ll see clearly that the “star” is nothing more than three intersecting planes of different colors. In fact it’s rather interesting the fact that if rotated the right way it loosely resembles a Star of David.

    Any symbolic reference was most likely purely accidental, and the ADL’s language of “outrage” makes the organization look hysterical and foolish.

    That said, due to its being an isolated symbol positioned where it is on the shirt, at a quick glance it does potentially evoke Holocaust imagery for those who are sensitive to it. (Which is not the case with the Maccabi logo, due to its position and the fact that it’s combined with other graphics.) So at MOST, maybe the ADL could have written something to the effect of:

    “Dear Wood Wood, an item of yours came to our attention that for some people evokes imagery of the yellow Star of David which Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust. We assume that any such reference was purely accidental, but nonetheless we humbly submit a request to you, to ask if you could possibly modify the shirt slightly (perhaps using a different color than yellow), so as to reduce the potential of anyone deriving such imagery from an otherwise fine item of clothing. With kind regards…”

  • Great article. The ADL sometimes goes overboard in an embarrassing way and this is a perfect example. There’s an expression in the IDF: “He who gets burned by his soup waits for his yogurt to cool.” In other words, this Urban Outfitters t-shirt is clearly yogurt and the ADL looks foolish for blowing on it, trying to cool it down.

  • no offense, but it really isn’t even a star. it is probably best described as a two dimensional depiction of a cardboard insert that goes inside boxes for the purpose of seperating items.

    the sad part, with ADL’s chomping at the bit and making such frivoulous claims on a regular basis is that they may actually engender and encourage anti-semitism, at least in the sense that genuine and very legitimate accusations of bigotry will be swallowed up and go unnoticed in the flood of silly claims.

    i speak from experience.

  • I think you are being stupid for not seeing the Holocaust connection. It doesn’t matter if the t-shirt designer made an accident out of this from ignorance, because there are just too many similarities that you are overlooking.

    1) it’s in patch form.
    2) it uses the star of david shape — AND it’s at the same scale of the Holocaust badges.
    3) The badge is positioned right above the yellow shirt’s left breast. Too familiar.

    It may be missing the word “Jude”, but many see it as a modern version of an anti-semitic badge. You may not see it this way, but it’s hard to argue with feelings. Jews and particularly those who were affected by the Holocaust call it offensive. A large group reacts, so obviously something’s not right about this.

    I do, however, agree with the comments that the ADL could have handled this better.

    • With all due respect Leah…
      1) The Star the Jews wore in the Holocaust was what one might call a patch. Wood Wood’s design is embroidered directly on the shirt.

      2) If you talk about scale you may as well mention that Wood Wood’s Star of David is tipped slightly and not geometrically synchronized – ie not exactly two triangles…

      3) Above the left breast is where most pocket-t decals are positioned, like say in this Yellow shirt and blue star example.

      Forget subtleties for a second. I can go on Cafe Press and buy a zillion different pieces of swag, from stickers to iPhone cases to underwear emblazoned with the Jewish star. See HERE for instance. Some have coopted the Holocaust Star and added “Never Again” above it or whatever, and others just present it as is. Where’s the ADL on that? I guess one gets more publicity attacking a big chain store than one does attacking some tasteless schmuck on Cafe Press.

      I find nothing offensive here at all. But yes, the ADL could definitely have handled this better. By not wasting time on this nonsense.

    • Did you look at any of the links / images I posted Leah? Why are those shirts any less “offensive?”

  • I love when narcissistic people have blogs and like to be controversial. In this case, your opinion is your opinion. I love the Danish people and they had tremendous support for the jews during WWII. They are friendly, wonderful and kind nation. The Danish designer of this T shirt, designed a shirt that has a strong resemblance to the one from the Nazi era. Urban Outfitters likes to be controversial and have shock value with their products, and it is no wonder they chose this shirt for their catalog.. The ADL sometimes comes off a bit harsh. However, are they really wrong? Seriously, this shirt is a modern day JUDE nazi shirt. The maccabi logo on the shirt has other writing and is not sitting alone. I find this yellow shirt with the Star of David offensive. If this shirt was in any stage production or in any display in a museum, it would be of something to do with the Nazis. That is my opinion. The Nazis murdered millions of people, why would you want to wear something that resembles their ideas. Never again. Never again, will I shop at Urban Outfitters until they start acknowledging they were wrong. I think that we have to agree to disagree in this overpriced offensive shirt.

    • What about the black shirts with an actual yellow star with the word “Jude” on it? The polo shirts even have it on the left breast … just like in the holocaust! I noticed you didn’t address that gimpy mom.

      Despite being a narcissist and despite the fact that you began your comment by insulting me, I will treat your opinion with respect. This is in no way a modern day Jude shirt. The star is blue. It has no writing in it. Their is no historical correlation between this shirt and the stars worn by Jews during the Holocaust. That correlation is such a stretch that it borders on the ridiculous. Oh look! Lets sic the ADL on this guy – Yellow shirt, blue Star of David – obviously a jack booted thug intent on sowing anti-Semitism far and wide…

      But yes, this shirt is definitely overpriced.

  • That link you gave me to the Maccabi shirt isn’t exactly politically correct either. The star on the Urban Outfitters shirt was sewn on by hand, reminiscing the same idea of the Jude patch attached as a separate piece of fabric.

    There was similar controversy with NBA jerseys and the 6 point star patches. Here’s a photo:

    Some people may not see the connection (I don’t understand why with the obvious), but I can tell you that I find it offensive as a Jew. I don’t really know why some people won’t admit that it’s a poor oversight on Urban Outfitter’s part.

    • Yeah. The NBA snowflake/Star of David “controversy whereby the NBA logo was superimposed on a 6 pointed snowflake (which have 6 points in real life) was likened to a Jewish conspiracy against Christmas – was it an accident that the NBA commissioner David Stern is a Jew? Or as the guy that posted the photo you pointed to called him, a “tiny little Jewish man.” No wonder you didn’t link to the entire post and it’s comically insane comments. This is what you are using to bolster your argument? Really? That puts you in fine company indeed.

      And Maccabi Tel Aviv’s logo isn’t politically correct? Then where was the ADL when Maccabi’s basketball team won 5 European Championships, 49 Israeli Championships, 39 Israeli Cups, and 3 League Cups. Or when the soccerteam won 20 championships, 22 national cups, 2 Asian Champions Cups and 3 Toto cups?

      I think the only poor judgment used in this case was exercised by the the ADL in turning this into an issue.

  • Leah wrote,

    That link you gave me to the Maccabi shirt isn’t exactly politically correct either.

    Uh…yeah…Leah, we can’t help you, dear. You’re too far gone. Please let us be in the land of the living,

  • More to the point, who buys $100 t-shirts?

    And while we’re on the subject, what’s with these new shirts I’ve been seeing on some women where they have a thumb hole and part of the fabric covers the hand? How do you eat anything in a bun with one of those?

  • Not even getting to the fact that this is just a straight-up ugly piece of clothing…Does anyone else think this looks a hell of a lot more like a Star Trek uniform shirt than anything else?

  • CK–hmmmmm…not sure I can fully trust your t-shirt judgement. “just saying.”

    And even though I was proudly polishing my ADL “Daniel Ginsberg Leadership Award” earlier today, I do agree with part of your statement about ADL. The New York HQ press releases the hell out of issues that are not critical to the organization or its community partners.

    However, on a local level, ADL does amazing work. I’ve seen it firsthand. There is no other organization that I am aware of (locally) that can resolve issues of antisemitism (and bigotry, homophobia, bullying, religious expression…) with the same effectiveness as ADL. Case in point: ADL was not involved in an incident in Orange county last week. A high school student running for student government found her posters and other materials covered with swastikas and heil Hitler. The reason ADL did not need to get involved is that the administration rapidly took the appropriate response (which almost NEVER happens in OC, where incidents of antisemitism are unfortunately too common in schools). They had previously been provided training by ADL and have a contact on speed dial in the event that guidance is ever needed.

    Our ADL region has excellent relationships with the leadership of local law enforcement. Our office helped take down a large prison gang last year “by accident” in the course of routine information sharing with agencies such as the FBI.

    ADL has a vital role to play. I believe very strongly that as the organization marks its 100 year anniversary, there will be a change of key leadership that will enable the organization to get refocused. I’m sure there will be a press release.

    • Thank you Josh for pointing out the many good things the ADL does do. I fully support their work in those areas and my only fear is that their effectiveness is compromised when they pursue actions, such as this one, that make no sense at all and seem frivolous and illogical.

  • The juxtaposition of the release of this item with Yom Hashoa makes me hesitant to dismiss this as mere coincidence. There seems to be a fairly regular stream of issues with Urban Outfitters products that make me scratch my head and wonder what kind of oversight exists at the company

  • CK – I’m very inclined to agree with you. I heard about this “controversy” and went digging online, because, if it is genuinely offensive I would expect this kind of public outcry.
    Three things:
    First, it’s a t-shirt that, to me, is obviously marketed towards the young Jewish person who likes to “wear their faith on their sleeve”
    Second, even if the Holocaust was a concious connection to the t-shirt, could it be a possibility that it has more to do with soluting the survivors than a covert show of support for the captors?
    Third, where are these Nazi’s running around with the Star of David? Last time I checked they wore Swastikas and military boots.

  • LOOK IN THE MIDDLE of the WOOD WOOD designed shirt, notice anything? look closer, the 3 legged swazi. used by neo nazis now. designed by woodwood, with a co owner named Brian SS Jensen, (i kid u not.) with nice stores in warsaw, germany, etc. if this is a fluke, ITS kinda too much to believe, me thinks. star is a fluke? what about the damn swazi?

    • The Nazi 3 legged swatika is circular: the outer lines are carved. The Woodwood logo is all straight lines. Besides, Jews never wore blue stars or stars with swastikas. I remain unconvined But thanks for you input @ethan.

  • More free market terrorism by a group who can’t see past its own predisposition toward fabricated denigration or inability to withhold surplus righteous indignation.


    When will it become evident to these abundant ‘groups’ that they have no jurisdiction or authority? If you don’t have a salient point to make, sit down and STFU.

  • The star of david has a three-legged swastika inside. I think it’s art. Or maybe the Urban outfitters are really Raelians.

  • The only thing stupid is your stupid article.

    The shirt is deeply offensive: apparently the Urban Outfitter website has removed the original description of “Auschwitz Chic.”

    That company is known for selling anti-semitic apparel, most notably a “Jewish Girl” T-Shirt with dollar bills and shopping bags.

    They have previously sold apparel promoting jihad. Think about that next time a suicide bomb goes off in the city where you live.

    Sad to see such childish nonsense by sites such as this, Heeb, etc. You really should all grow up.

    • Urban Outfitters never called it Auschwitz Chic. I don’t recall UO ever selling anything that promoted Jihad – which would be weird given how the company is owned by Republicans… BethesdDog you should stick to facts I think. Don’t just make shit up.

  • the writer of this article seems unable to detect nuance. evil creeps slowly and gradually. learn to tolerate other opinions that don’t necessarily resonate with you!

  • Ck- you are rather quick to discard information; tell me about the triskele. Please… tell me about how its circular on the outside and that this rather ‘innocent’
    image by Wood Wood (featuring the co-owner SS Jensen making an apology.)

    The triskele (and i am no expert,) is used round the world still; by neo nazi groups in south africa (AWB.) Now, you can either accept that, or not. For my mind, I am simply saying, WOOD WOOD, your apology doesn’t encapsulate the truth. IF you want to market such imagery, do it. But don’t pretend its not what it is; and by that, I see both a star (that deeply resembles the holocaust tagging of jews in nazi germany and abroad,) AND i see a triskele. That you are so quick to disregard, is flippant and shows that you aren’t posting to actually discuss or take in any further information, and that you believe yr opinion to be 100% right. Well, some of us disagree.

    Some further images of your circular triskele. Which, can be drawn IDENTICAL to how WOOD WOOD put in the design. An error? Surely…

    • Ethan, with all due respect, even the ADL made no mention of the alleged triskele. Why? Because Triskele’s have never appeared in a Magen David when used as an expression of white power and Nazism. And once again the color scheme is all wrong. The Jewish Star was Yellow, not blue. The triskele is black, red and white. I think folks are just seeing things that are simply not there.

  • Bout time they started bringing the brand back. Get used to wearing it again swine, you filthy shits. HH!

  • Your opinion is very rude and selfish, but that is your opinion and you are entitled to it. But like you, I also have an opinion, the fact that I think you’re wrong and that this t-shirt design was an incredible mistake. I understand that it may not have been meant to hurt people but it did. My family, friends, and I were incredibly offended, that this company was selling this type of shirt. And I’m offended by the shirts you sell. But you’re a tiny, hardy popular blog I had never heard of until I looked up this shirt. Plus I’m sure you intend to offend people. So i couldn’t give two fucks what you sell. I am more concerned about this bigger name company selling a shirt to youth, me included, who are more influenced by pop-culture then anything else. And if a popular company is selling anything remotely offensive to my culture (I hope and expect that any other culture being offended would be up in arms as well) I will certainly disagree and ask something to be done about it. Plus I think you are a straight up idiot. But that is all just my opinion, which I am entitled to.

    • You know, I’d argue with you, but there’s nothing I could say that would be more revelatory about the shortcomings of your ideas and character than your own words. Do have a lovely day Shea!

    • And I’m offended every time I see our Jew-owned mass-media: TV, magazines and movies.

  • i would think that a culture/ethnicity that expresses such admiration for and applauds people such as joan rivers and sacha baron cohen, to name only a couple among a plethora of obnoxious, rude, and bigoted jewish comedians, might want to focus on cleaning their own house before taking on such trivial slights, real or imagined, as T shirts and NBA jerseys.

    my god, i read ADL’s admonishments of and to sacha baron cohen and it bordered on being apologetic and groveling. ADL lacks any credibility when they let slurs and unfair depictions by jews against other ethnicities and religions, particularly muslims and catholics, go without comment.

    • LOL…and did i leave out howard stern, who will scream “ANTI-SEMITISM” at the drop of a yarmulke.

      • Actually, last I checked, we express admiration for civil rights, equality, excellence in the arts, excellence in the sciences and tend to relegate comedians to the ranks or people who we don’t take seriously. But whatever, feel free to continue making Catholics and Muslims the victims of Jews. As if.

        • Re: “Actually, last I checked, we express admiration for civil rights, equality, excellence in the arts, excellence in the sciences and tend to relegate comedians to the ranks or people who we don’t take seriously.”

          So how come every filthy comedian – Jew and otherwise – is promoted in the “MainStream” media which is owned and run by we Jews?

        • whoa, whoa, whoa, pard. climb down off of that high horse you rode in on and check your guns at the door, hombre.

          i guess among the people who work at civil rights, equality, arts, science…those you take seriously, we can include people who design two dimensional representations of three planes intersecting at a central point. come on…try to remember what we are talking about here.

          last i checked, jews do express admiration for those jewish comedians such as don rickles, sacha baron cohen, joan rivers, alan king, etc who do make jokes at the expense of other beliefs and cultures, particularly those of the catholic and muslim faiths and those of mid-eastern, irish and italian ethnicities. that’s just a fact. no victimhood involved. in circumstances like these, people make victims of themselves. i haven’t noticed any of the above mentioned groups indulging in whimsical and whining complaints.

          and as for your rather snobbish “…we don’t take (comedians) seriously.” well, i guess that really doesn’t apply now, does it, when someone parodies a gun toting settler who beats his head against a wall to thank, praise, and pay homage to a deity whose day job seems to be that of a real estate agent who has some choice property on the west bank to give ya?. seems like some of us get some pretty twisted knickers about humour of that nature.

          like i have always said, a lot of what people think is funny depends upon whose ox is being gored.

          anyway, have a just wonderful day…and oh, i don’t think you’re shea…as if.

          • Well Mike, at this point you’ve lost me. It’s all a little too confusing. I mean, I get the part where you’re angry at Jews. You sit in your basement stewing because life is so miserable for you and you’ve concluded that it’s because of Joan Rivers, the ADL and unmanly, whiny Jews who are not stoic like Italian Americans. And I also understand – you were really hoping to use that $100 you borrowed from your mom’s purse to buy a shirt with a Jewish star on the chest to show your friends who frequent Stormfront. But what I don’t get, Mike, is why you don’t think Shea is Georgiegirl when they share the same IP address.

            Have a lovely day as well.

          • themiddle says:

            “Well Mike, at this point you’ve lost me. It’s all a little too confusing. I mean, I get the part where you’re angry at Jews. You sit in your basement stewing because life is so miserable for you and you’ve concluded that it’s because of Joan Rivers, the ADL and unmanly, whiny Jews who are not stoic like Italian Americans. And I also understand – you were really hoping to use that $100 you borrowed from your mom’s purse to buy a shirt with a Jewish star on the chest to show your friends who frequent Stormfront. But what I don’t get, Mike, is why you don’t think Shea is Georgiegirl when they share the same IP address.’

            “Have a lovely day as well”.

            I say:

            i don’t know who shea is at all. you’r the one who seems obsessed with him or her. i was just joking you.

            i don’t hate jews at all. i certainly don’t like some jews for the same reasons i don’t like other people who hide behind their ethnicity/culture to cover up their character flaws or personality shortcomings…kind of like “he must hate me because of my ethnicity…lord knows i am an intelligent, convivial, charming witty person so he has to hate me because i am a jew.” look, i dislike colossal asses, regardless of their ethnicity.

            all i really said, all i have really been saying, is geese and gander sauce. you seem unwilling to accept that because you seem to regard as jew haters those who are unwilling to elevate jewish people to an exalted position above all others. i am willing to take people based upon who they are rather than upon what they are. your judaism or jewish ethnicity confers no special virtue in my eyes…and before you go on another verbal tear, nor does your jewishness indicate any unique vice either.

  • I think Shea brings up some very valid points and you didn’t know how to respond except by shaming. 🙂

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