Vanessa Perilman, the head designer for Spanish clothing giant Zara, has been caught in a controversy after making hateful comments against Palestine. Her conversation with a Palestinian male model, Qaher Harhash who hails from occupied east Jerusalem, exposing her racism went viral on social media.
Zara’s head designer defended Israel’s inhumanity and barbaric actions, blaming terrorism in Gaza on Palestinian victims. She also attacked the model’s Muslim faith.
“Maybe if your people were educated then they wouldn’t blow up hospitals and schools that Israel helped to pay for in Gaza,” Vanessa allegedly wrote to Qaher stating Israelis don’t teach children to hate, nor throw stones at soldiers as your people do.
“I think it’s funny that you’re a model because in reality, that is against what the Muslim faith believes in and if you were to come out of the closet in any Muslim country, you would be stoned to death,” she further commented.
Following the exposed communication, official complaints were made to Zara, however, the brand refused to take action and replied with a message about how Vanessa’s apology had been accepted by the model.
Vanessa has since deleted her social media accounts.
“It was obvious she apologised because she felt threatened by people messaging her and calling out her ignorance,” Qaher wrote on Instagram on Sunday. “So far, Vanessa Perilman hasn’t been fired.”
The Spanish high-street brand had requested him to share an apology written by Vanessa, which he declined to do.
“If Zara wants to make a statement with me, they also need to address Islamophobia,” he stated. “When certain fashion designers said anti-Semitic things, they were fired from their jobs,” he added.
The Jerusalem-born model himself has called on followers to boycott the brand using the hashtag #BoycottZara.