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Palestine Keffiyeh Scarves – a Controversial Symbol of Solidarity

Across the world, the black-and-white keffiyeh head scarf has become an emblem of solidarity with the Palestinian cause, as war rages between Israel and Palestine in Gaza. It has also become a problem for those wearing it.

Supporters of Israel see the chequered scarf as a provocation and a sign of backing for what they see as terrorism.

Thousands of people have worn keffiyehs in huge protests in Britain and elsewhere in support of the Palestinians and calling for a ceasefire in the conflict.

But activists say police in France and Germany – which have cracked down on pro-Palestinian protests – have cautioned, fined or detained people wearing it.

“The keffiyeh was being criminalised and people were asked to take it off,” he said. “I said: ‘Okay, you can make me take it off but you have to cut my arm to do so.”

“I am celebrating my anger and my criminalised culture,” he told Reuters as a tattooist put the finishing touches on his work. “It’s also beautiful and a reminder to never forget that so many people were killed.”

Yet Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper called the keffiyeh the “problem cloth” and suggested German pro-Palestinian protesters wear a Nazi uniform, instead.

Israel supporters say it shows a disregard for the 1,200 Israelis killed in the cross-border raid by Hamas on 7 October that triggered the Israeli assault on Gaza.

Palestinian supporters point to the more than 18,000 people killed in the offensive and Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian Territory.

In the heated atmosphere, this has also led to violence. In Vermont, in the United States, last month, three college students of Palestinian descent – two wearing keffiyehs – were shot, leaving one paralysed.

Source : MEMO