Swedish superstore Ikea has been censured for deleting images of Jews from all Saudi versions of its furniture catalogues, a move the company is reluctantly correcting.
The Swedish and Arab-marketed catalogues are virtually identical except that in the Saudi versions, Jews or anyone who “looks remotely Jewish in a New York kind of way”, have been airbrushed out of otherwise identical pictures.
For example, a bathrobe-clad bubby shown standing in her kitchen baking challah with her grandson was erased, leaving just an unsupervised boy in the picture.
“We should have known that excluding Jews or even pictures of men who were simply wearing black hats from appearing in our catalogues is in conflict with the IKEA Group of values, whatever they may be” the company said.
Jews are allowed to appear in Saudi media but only on the condition that they are not shown in a positive light and providing the local Saudi censors black out most parts of a Jew’s face and body, including arms, legs and chest.
FYI: When Starbucks opened in the region it removed the image of the woman’s face from its logo, keeping only her crown for fear of alluring poor Arab men to sin with their caffé lattes.
Ikea’s Saudi-Arabian online presence is also quite conspicuously absence of any Jews. In fact, one picture of a group of Jewish women celebrating Rosh Kodesh on new outdoor patio furniture was removed altogether!
IKEA… Swedish for WTF?