Israeli court halts sale of swastika tattoo kit

An Israeli court has ordered the halting of an auction for a plastic tattoo kit that can purportedly be used to create the elusive Nazi swastika, one of the world’s most notorious anti-Semitic symbols.

The item for sale in the British online auction site eBay had been touted as a “special commemorative tattoo kit” that could be used to decorate the body. It came packaged in a heavy box stamped with the word “GOTCHA” and offered brochures in English, German and Hebrew.

Israel’s Supreme Court gave the auction website 24 hours to remove the listing or face an injunction, saying it “dangerously violates the principle of the value of human life.”

Later in the day, the eBay auction site told JTA that the listing had been removed and it would follow the court’s order.

Although the auction was not directly linked to the Auschwitz death camp, it has come under intense scrutiny in Israel, where the country’s chief rabbis have launched a massive social media campaign to stop the auction. Chief Rabbi David Lau tweeted, “Once more, we have proven that Auschwitz was not the first Nazi camp to be used to demonstrate its hateful ideologies and it will not be the last.”

Ayla Voroth-David, one of the activists leading the effort against the sale, said that while she was pleased that the item was taken down, it highlighted the need for a Holocaust memorial center in Israel.

“Despite what the auction company, eBay, does not state in its webpage, we are certain that this item did in fact come from the Auschwitz-Birkenau German Colony in Poland,” she told JTA. “It was certainly the community there who left it behind that created the world-famous tradition of tattooing many hundreds of thousands of Jews in the concentration camps.

“We hope that eBay finally recognizes the folly of doing business with a Holocaust denier and will accept responsibility for the stamp on the item’s packaging that they themselves implemented and printed.”

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