AFRICANGLOBE – The wife of a senior Israeli minister sparked outrage on Sunday by posting a racist joke about President Barack Obama on Twitter.
Judy Shalom Nir Mozes, a well-known face on Israeli TV and the wife of the country’s interior minister Silvan Shalom, quickly deleted the offending tweet – but it was too late to avoid mounting criticism.
The post that set off a wave of international public anger was short and to the point.
“Do you know what Obama coffee is? Black and weak”, Mozes tweeted in English.
Protests on Twitter came swiftly in English and Hebrew, including messages such as “Have you gone mad?” and “You’d better erase this … frighteningly racist”.
After deleting the tweet, Mozes posted: “I apologise, that was a stupid joke somebody told me.”
But Twitter users had already taken screen shots of the offensive message.
One user posted: “How human garbage works … Delete plus fake apology. Clearly found the racist joke funny enough to share. Trash”.
Mozes has been involved in social-media controversy before.
In 2012 she was nominated to represent Unicef, the United Nations body dealing with children’s rights and emergency needs, in Israel, and was set to join a sparkling list of royal and celebrity ambassadors that has included David Beckham, Sarah Jessica Parker, William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Queen Rania of Jordan, Shakira and Sir Roger Moore.
But according to the Jerusalem Post, she resigned after whipping up a political storm when she posted messages to Facebook vociferously supporting Israel’s military bombardment of Gaza and referring to Palestinians there simply as “people whose children are fed hate towards Israel … who have it in their DNA to hate us”.
In the US, Mozes’ Tweet hit raw nerves. On Sunday, the subject of race was once again leading every news outlet, days after a 21-year-old white supremacist shot dead nine Black people in a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
One Twitter user wrote: “Wife of Israeli interior minister @JudyMozes tweeted racist slur [about] POTUS (President of the United States) while we mourn loss of 9 [because] of racism.”
Mozes appeared to compound her predicament, posting another joking statement, which began “Sorry if I caused offense to anyone” and added that she hoped she would still be married when her husband heard about the row.
A minute later she addressed a Tweet to “President Obama” and referred to her joke as inappropriate, saying she liked people “no matter about their race or religion”.
By: Joanna Walters
Racism Report: Africans In Israel