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Wal-Mart bans sale of Israeli soldier costume, fake 'Arab' nose

The megastore has said it's pulling the controversial Halloween costumes from its shelves. The costumes drew heavy criticism from social media users calling them racist.

An Israeli soldier's costume and a plastic "Arab" nose that drew heavy criticism on social media have been pulled from Wal-Mart's shelves ahead of Halloween.

The Arkansas-based megastore's decision comes after accusations that the two costumes, which had apparently been listed on the company's website until Wednesday, were discriminatory.

The advertisement for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) costume depicted a young boy clad in the green-and-red uniform and brandishing a plastic gun.

"Such a symbol of fear, violence and a long history of dispossession should not be used for entertainment purposes," said the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) on its website.

Many also decried the company's decision to sell a plastic nose billed as a "Sheik Fagin Nose," which some said perpetuated racist stereotypes of Arabs.

News of the costumes drew an immediate backlash from social media users and news outlets around the world, as the wave of violence between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East continued unabated.

Meanwhile, some Twitter users pointed out that it wasn't just Arabs who should be offended by the merchandise.

As of Wednesday, the costumes were still being sold by other retailers, including Amazon and eBay.

blc/jil (AFP, KNA)

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