Israeli embassy in Brazil mocked for censoring photo of ambassador eating lobster

Posted at 9:34 AM, Jul 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 11:34:21-04

The Israeli embassy in Brazil drew online mockery Sunday after tweeting a photo of ambassador Yossi Shelley and President Jair Bolsonaro eating lunch, with what appeared to be a lobster main course crudely censored.

Social media users pointed out that the translucent black scribble failed to conceal the meal, pillorying the apparent attempt to hide the Israeli diplomat’s consumption of the non-kosher shellfish.

Shelley and Bolsonaro met for lunch before attending the Copa America soccer final between Brazil and Peru, the embassy tweeted, and later celebrated with the winning Brazilian team.

Some Twitter users mocked the badly censored image with their own edited photos, with several adding the lobster emoji to Shelley and Bolsonaro’s plates. Others questioned why the Israeli embassy didn’t simply crop the image, while one added a similar black scribble to screenshots of news articles about Bolsonaro, following his recent remarks about the Holocaust.

The Israeli embassy in Brazil told CNN it did not wish to comment.

In April, Bolsonaro was criticized for comments about the Holocaust, while speaking to a group of Brazilian evangelicals about his visit to the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem earlier that month. “We can forgive, but we can’t forget. That’s my phrase. Those who forget their past are condemned not to have a future,” Bolsonaro said according to Reuters.

On Twitter, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin appeared to deliberately contradict the Brazilian leader, saying “We will never forgive and never forget”. Yad Vashem said in a statement reported by Reuters: “It is no one’s place to decide who can be forgiven and whether there should be forgiveness for the crimes of the Holocaust.”

Bolsonaro responded to the criticism in a post on the Israeli ambassador’s Facebook page, saying that any negative “interpretation” of his comments was “only in the interest of those who want to push me away from my Jewish friends.”

In May, Bolsonaro awarded Shelley with the National Order of the Southern Cross, an honor “intended to reward foreign individuals or entities which have become worthy of the recognition of the Brazilian Nation,” according to Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.