Obama insults Israel (his feet smell too*)

by | Jun 10, 2009

Granted “taking offense” has been turned into a competitive sport, but this takes the biscuit. Top story on Drudge – Barack Obama is said to have insulted Israel by chatting on the phone with Benjamin Netanyahu with his feet on the table.

Drudge links to CBS which frets that that Obama was sending a ‘subliminal message’ to Israel. Apparently, “‘some Israelis…saw the incident as somewhat akin to an incident last year, when the Iraqi reporter threw a shoe at President Bush in Baghdad.” Somewhat akin! Can’t get worse than that.

Of course, it’s not Jews who have a thing about soles of shoes, it’s Arabs, but CBS has an answer for that. Apparently, “Israel feels enough a part of the Middle East after 60 years to be insulted too.” You really couldn’t make it up.

Probably not safe for work, but here’s a picture of the offending act.

Obama Insults Israel

(*I made the ‘feets smell’ bit up.)

Update: Note that Obama has still not got his shoes mended – compare this tatty pair he wore during his campaign…


  • David Steven is a senior fellow at New York University, where he founded the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, a multi-stakeholder partnership to deliver the SDG targets for preventing all forms of violence, strengthening governance, and promoting justice and inclusion. He was lead author for the ministerial Task Force on Justice for All and senior external adviser for the UN-World Bank flagship study on prevention, Pathways for Peace. He is a former senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of The Risk Pivot: Great Powers, International Security, and the Energy Revolution (Brookings Institution Press, 2014). In 2001, he helped develop and launch the UK’s network of climate diplomats. David lives in and works from Pisa, Italy.

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