JERUSALEM, Occupied Palestine – Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who hosted Japanese Prime Minister Abe, has suffered a great deal of embarrassment when dinner planners made a major blunder which angered and insulted the entire Japanese delegation, including PM Abe himself who struggled to contain himself at the official event.
In particular, Israeli dinner planners seem to have irreparably insulted their Japanese guests with an assault on their senses and cultural customs, by serving chocolates inside a shoe. The Japanese consider the wearing of shoes indoors to be ‘barbaric’, and a critical custom which historically distinguishes Japan’s own sense of civilization and civility from others.
Japan’s dislike of shoes and footwear worn indoors, which they consider to be particularly unclean is widely known, rendering the mistake of those responsible who failed to tell the chef, as obviously unforgivable. Indeed, it has created an unforgettable diplomatic blunder which Israelis now hope can be forgiven.
Abe himself at the time appeared to struggle not to react, and with some visible hesitation, nevertheless diplomatically ate the chocolates out of the shoe. But in the following days, Israeli and Japanese diplomats commented extensively on the subject of “shame” and “humiliation.”
“It was a silly and insensitive choice,” Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot was told by a high-ranking Israeli diplomat who has lived in Japan for many years. As he pointed out “there is nothing worse in Japanese culture than shoes indoors. Not only do they take it off when they come into their homes, but they make sure they move around without them in their offices. Even the Prime Minister and his ministers do not wear shoes at work. It is the same as serving an Israeli visitor with chocolate covered pork!”
“No culture puts shoes on the table. What was the famous chef thinking, was he out of his mind? If it was supposed to be humor, we did not find it at all funny. I must confess that we feel deeply offended on behalf of our Prime Minister,” said a high-ranking Japanese diplomat serving in Israel.
Yediot Aharonot news, however, is known to be typically critical of Israeli strongman Netanyahu and his extremist Zionist government. Nevertheless, the story has been confirmed by multiple sources by FRN, and the exchange and concerns were expressed across twitter.
In any case, Israeli celebrity chef Mose Sheehan, the personal chef of the Israeli prime minister, did not seem to regret his decision, and he took photos of it on his Instagram account.