By RUTH EGLASH
“People view Jews as Eastern European and forget Arab Jews are also amassive part of our nation,” says young US Jew.
(My commentary is in blue italics.)
It might be considered by some as a symbol of Palestinian “resistance” or solidarity, butfor a group of young, hip US Jews, wearing a keffiyeh – especially one with blueembroidered Stars of David – is just as much their right as anyone else’s.“We did have some negative comments [about the keffiyeh] when we initially sent it outto our mailing list,” Erez Safar, founder and director of Shemspeed, a Jewish music labeland promotion company that started selling the traditional Arab headdress about twoweeks ago, told
The Jerusalem Post
on Thursday.“I think people tend to view Jews as Eastern European and often forget that Arab Jewsare also a massive part of our nation,” continued Safar, a.k.a. DJ/Producer Diwon, whosefamily on one side originates from and on the other from Yemen, and pre-state Israel.“Jews indigenous to the , such as my family, have worn some variation of the kefyah[cap/kippa] and keffiyeh [head/neck scarves] for thousands of years,” he said.
(Thousands of years? Maybe a piece of cloth, but a kefiyah as is being imitated today?)
“The original purpose of the scarves was to provide protection from the sun and sand.When it comes to religious observance, the Muslim tradition of head covering originatesfrom the Jewish tradition,” Safar said.However, he is not oblivious to the fact that this new “Israeli keffiyeh,” which has beenselling fairly well, has already engendered controversy among some who feel it might beinappropriate for Jews to use it as a pro-Israel symbol.“We have had some Arab friends take offense to our new scarf-remix,” acknowledgedSafar. “We have some Muslim rappers who have taken part in our Hip Hop Sulha series,which is a Jewish and Muslim reconciliation concert series featuring Hip Hop groupsfrom around the world. We are having a concert in February and one of the performershas actually backed out because of these scarves.”In an attempt to put people’s minds at ease, Safar this week released a press statement toclarify the historical facts and to provide some context.“As a Jew, I am not offended by the pope who wears a ‘kippa,’ and in the same respect, I