Israeli embassy removes offending message

A Christmas message distinctly lacking in the festive spirit left officials at the Israeli Embassy in Dublin red-faced by claiming that if Mary and Jesus were alive today, they would probably be “lynched” by Palestinians in Bethlehem.

The post, on the embassy’s official Facebook page, showed a picture of Mary and Jesus, accompanied by the caption: “A thought for Christmas ... If Jesus and mother Mary were alive today, they would, as Jews without security, probably end up being lynched in Bethlehem by hostile Palestinians.”

The inflammatory message provoked an immediate response and although it was removed within two hours, a sizeable number of comments were posted, both condemning and supporting the message. A statement from the Israeli Embassy in Dublin said the image of Jesus and Mary “with a derogatory comment about Palestinians was posted without the consent of the administrator of the Facebook page”.

“We have removed the post in question immediately. Apologies to anyone who may have been offended,” the statement said.

Since the error, the IsraelinIreland page has been shut down altogether, and the link on the official website has been removed.

This was not the first time the account, which is updated by unnamed embassy staff, broadcast strong opinions.

It previously claimed that Palestinian children “play how to launch a missile in order to hit innocent Israeli children, woman and men! The apple does not fall far from the tree!” and that “Pro Palestinianism is often just a politically correct cover for anti-Semitism.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs declined to comment.

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