UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

Etsy urged to withdraw “Make Israel Palestine Again” merchandise 

T-shirts, baseball caps, sweatshirts and badges bearing the slogan “Make Israel Palestine Again” are being sold on Etsy,  an e-commerce company focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies.


UKLFI has written to Colin Stretch, the chief legal officer of Etsy, pointing out that this slogan “implies that there should no longer be a State of Israel, which as you are no doubt aware, is the aim of the terrorist group Hamas”. 

It is an offence contrary to S12 (1A) of the Terrorism Act 2000 to express an opinion or belief that is supportive of a proscribed organisation (in this case Hamas), being reckless as to whether a person to whom the expression is directed will be encouraged to support a proscribed organisation.

UKLFI has written to Esty to caution them they may be seen to be reckless and endorsing a view held by a terrorist organisation.

Selling these items also appears to be in breach of several of Etsy’s own policies. Their Prohibited Items Policy says the platform has a “zero tolerance policy” for prohibited items “particularly those that promote, support or glorify hatred, those that promote, support or glorify violence, or are unlawful”. It adds that: “Sellers deemed to violate this policy can be subject to immediate account suspension or termination, in accordance with our Terms of Use.”

UKLFI told Mr Stretch that selling the “Make Israel Palestine Again” items also appears to go against Etsy’s policy on Items that Promote, Support, or Glorify Hatred, as well as its policy on Illegal Items, Items Promoting Illegal Activity, and Highly Regulated Items.

UKLFI has asked Etsy to confirm that these items will be withdrawn.

Caroline Turner, director of UKLFI, said: “If the items being sold on the Etsy platform are worn by customers in a public place they could be seen to be supporters of Hamas, and they could also cause alarm and distress to Jewish and Israeli people, and those people that support Israel, which includes the UK government.

 “We do not think that there is any argument for these items to remain on sale on your website given that they are in breach of Etsy’s own policy guidelines and that selling such items and wearing the items in public can be a criminal offence.”