Israeli Embassy Sparks Outrage with Racist Art Meme

Screen capture of image from the @IsraelInIreland Twitter account

It’s being called a new low in Israel’s propaganda war over the ongoing assault on Gaza. In support of the conflict, the Israeli embassy in Dublin took to social media over the weekend via its @IsraelInIreland account to post a series of images that drafted Europe’s iconic works of art into an effort to portray Israel as the last line of defense against a Muslim takeover of Europe.

In one, Leonardo’s Mona Lisa appears in a hijab brandishing a rocket, stamped with the words, “Israel Now, Paris Next.” In another, Michelangelo’s David sports a belt of explosives and Arab headscarf. Copenhagen’s iconic Little Mermaid is cast as a rifle-wielding militant.

As for Ireland itself, the point of origin of the instantly infamous tweets, the Molly Malone sculpture of a young woman pushing a cart, a symbol of civic pride in Dublin, is covered beneath a full-body black scarf. All the images bear the caption “Israel Is the Last Frontier of the Free World.”

Outcry began almost immediately on social media after the posting of the images, and the Embassy removed the offensive meme over the weekend and issued an apology. “There was no intention to cause insult or offense to anyone,” the Israeli ambassador Boaz Modai’s office told Newsweek.

However, Newsweek notes that ambassador Modai has been particularly belligerent in support of the current conflict, calling the United Nations Human Rights Council the “UN Terrorist Rights Council” for expressing concern for the deaths of innocents. @IsraelInIreland has also recently posted another Tweet with the words “Free Palestine” juxtaposed with an image of Hitler.

The Dublin Embassy is, in fact, infamous for its inflammatory social media presence. Two years ago, it got into trouble for a Facebook post that suggested that if Jesus were alive in the modern world, he would “probably end up being lynched in Bethlehem by hostile Palestinians.”

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics