Israel is in news for a weird reason. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was on a two-day visit to Israel along with his wife Akie Abe, was served chocolates in a shoe, yes a metal-shaped shoe, during a dinner hosted by Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu at their residence. The unique gesture, apparently done to impress the guests, backfired, causing uproar in both the countries, with people asking Israel to issue formal apology. The meal, prepared by Israeli celebrity chef Segev Moshe, was dubbed as "culturally offensive", something they said was not at all "funny".
"This was a stupid and insensitive decision. It is equivalent to serving a Jewish guest chocolates in a dish shaped like a pig...there is nothing more despised in Japanese culture than shoes," a senior Israeli diplomat, who previously served in Japan told newspaper Yediot Aharonot, reported RT.
The report also quoted a Japanese diplomat saying: "No culture puts shoes on the table". "If this is meant to be humor, we do not find it funny. I can tell you that we are offended for our prime minister," he said.
The gourmet spread, comprising chocolate pralines in men's black brogue shoes, can be spotted on the food table while both the leaders along with their wives posed for the pictures, which was shared by Segev Moshe on his Instagram account.
"Prime Minister of Israel and his wife host the Prime Minister of Japan. Great honour to cook for you! Not obvious for me. Unforgettable night," wrote the celebrity along with a picture in which he was standing in the middle of the table that displays dessert in two men 'shoes'. He also posted another picture, this time of the shoe, saying: "Chocolate selection from the world. #SegevArt. A metal shoe by @tomdixonstudio."
The faux pas also didn't go down well with Segev's fans too. People criticised saying the gesture could have made sense if "Israelis or whoever serving actually ate out of shoes regularly as part of their culture". One of the Instgram users said he "insulted the whole nation". Another wrote: "So you knowingly served the Japanese prime minister a dessert in a shoe. First that isn't creative. Secondly it's offensive. What are you smoking?"
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Some users even called it a publicity stunt, saying the Israel government should issue a formal apology for the incident. "It's clear that you are loving the publicity that your offensive behavior has caused," commented a user.