Affixed label features anti-Semitic caricature.
“I was absolutely appalled when I saw this label,” said an outraged Hikind. “Net Cost Market has become a complicit partner in the dissemination of hatred against Jews. With each bag sold, the Shnayders are literally sowing seeds of hate.” At three of the four locations, consumers who spent $50 or more were given the package of seeds as a promotional gift right at the checkout counter.
Net Cost Market bills itself as the “Costco of the ethnic Eastern European market,” and offers a wide assortment of imports from all over Eastern Europe. The roasted sunflower seeds are produced in the Former Soviet Union by Kremlin Kitchen. “I was not surprised to learn that this anti-Semitic product is being made in Russia,” said Hikind. “Recent reports indicate that attacks on Russia's Jewish population and their property have increased in both number and severity. Kremlin Kitchen is trying to capitalize on this existing wave of anti-Semitic sentiment with the Russian-American community.”
Hikind and Thompson are calling for all remaining packages to be pulled from store shelves immediately, and for future supply orders to be discontinued. “Today we have come together to express a simple demand that the owners of the Net Cost Market chain immediately pull these offensive packages from their stores,” Comptroller Thompson said. “Such a blatant expression of hate encourages anti-Jewish feeling among New Yorkers, and tears at the fabric of our civil society. These packages must go.”
Hikind added, “This insidious depiction of a Jew is reminiscent of the propaganda distributed by Joseph Goebbels. It is an image intended to degrade the Jewish people, and to incite fear and loathing of Jews. It has absolutely no place in our communities.”