One of the major topics of this blog is the deep in the German culture ingrained hatred of Jews. Read At Full Gallop through German History with links to further information here or elsewhere. Part of it is the long-standing bleeding-heart empathy for the Palestinian Arabs.
Lately, the picture of a toddler wearing a kefija-styled baby bib attracted some attention here. I did a Google search for "Palituch and children" (="kefija and children") and -- lo and behold! -- there is an entire market for it.
4,160 hits for "Palituch" (kefija) and "Kinder" (children). To be fair, quite a few of them are critical of the kefija and contain some information for youngsters why they ought not to wear it. As I haven't browsed through all the 4,000 plus hits, from a cursory overview I'd say that this applies to a quarter of them, which is, I guess, better than nothing.
Some details from the majority:
"This shawl has a long historiy and is right now totally hip again. The shawl is doubly woven and from 100% cotton..."
This is pretty self-explaining. Halstuch/Tuch = shawl, and they are "lovingly made". You bet!
"Finally mother and baby can wear the super-hip partner look. Stylish [notice the appalling Anglicism!] kefija for babies, the mini-variant, so to say, for mommy's large shawl..."
Granted, many of those sellers may not know what they are doing and are, dumb, deaf and daft, waxing lyrically about super-hip kefijas for babies, made with love, as they would swoon over anything they intend to sell. However, something like "This shawl has a long history and is right now totally hip again" leaves not just some doubt about the sellers intentions (but then, maybe there ARE people who are drivelling about "history" and don't know what this specific history is about, namely the hatred and genocide of Jews) but is frightening in its, maybe inadvertent, accuracy as well. Jew hatred IS "totally hip again" in Germany.
While many sellers and buyers of the kefija may not consciously intend to express hatred of Jews, but rather a vague feeling of being "anti-imperialist" of "leftist" (if that), it is certainly a fact that in Germany, and in Germany only, an environment exists, where a symbol of hatred for Jews and genocidal intent could become a "hip" part of children's wardrobe. How do I know that? I tried an English language search for "kefija/kefijah/kefije/kefijeh and children" and didn't get a single hit and even the French, although their passion for the Arafat mop is considerable, they don't offer any pour des bébés ("Pastinien and foulard and enfants"). Do you want me to try Spanish, the Slav languages and some Bantoo dialects as well?
There is a large intersection, mind you, between the buyers and sellers of that sort of stuff and those who throw everything, from hissy fit to court trial, at the first sight of any swastika. Yes, we have learned a lot from our past.
Hat tip: Gudrun Eusser!