A response to the latest in a series of provocative, offensive, and frankly fratboyish Facebook posts coming from Israel’s embassy in Ireland.
There’s Something Rotten in Ireland
a post by Haroon Moghul on the RELIGION DISPATCHES website, 18 December 2012
The New York Times’ blog, The Lede, reports on the latest in a series of provocative, offensive, and frankly fratboyish Facebook posts coming from Israel’s embassy in Ireland. They go from digs at Ireland (“naďve”) for joining Europe and much of the world in voting for an upgrade in Palestine’s status at the United Nations, to the most recent—an allegation that, if Jesus were alive today, he would probably be lynched by hostile Palestinians.
Nobody at the embassy seems to know who’s writing and posting these very ugly statements—and they’d prefer it stay that way; a spokesperson notes that in addition to government staff, everyday Israelis can post, too. (Which sounds like a disaster for any governmental institution, and predictably enough it seems the page has now been taken down, having failed to advance a positive image of the country.)
That the New York Times is reporting on the story indicates how much negative press has been generated; some of the postings are stunningly offensive—and the embassy might be better off looking more seriously into them. Certainly, they do not help the current Israeli government’s declining popularity in the eastern half of the West. More worryingly, the deliberate provocations seem to have emerged from the embassy’s public relations strategy, which includes wondering if pro-Palestinian Israeli activists are motivated less by ideology and more by “sexual identity problems.”
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