Judy Mozes, the wife of Silvan Shalom, the Likud minister responsible for the peace negotiation process with the Palestinians, published an astonishing tweet today:
Mozes is also an heiress of one of Israel’s eighteen oligarch families, which have sizable commercial interests. Among them is the prominent Israeli daily, Yediot Achronot. Her wealth made Shalom the raichest Knesset member by far in the last session. He’s second richest in the current one.
If you consider that the Obama administration was, until a few months ago, spearheading an effort to negotiate a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, this gaffe seems particularly poor taste. One wonders, in fact, how Shalom can ever be considered a credible figure for U.S. diplomats to engage. Not that negotiations are expected any time soon (or for the rest of the century, perhaps).
Mozes has apologized in a tweet addressed directly to Pres. Obama, which seems a bit awkward. Does she flatter herself that the U.S. president reads her Twitter feed? At any rate, she excused the joke by saying she’d heard it from someone else. As if her not making the joke up herself lessens the self-inflicted wound.
She might want to consider the route Stephane Richard, the Orange CEO took. He high-tailed it to Israel after endorsing BDS and offered mea culpas to the prime minister, begging his forgiveness for his unpardonable gaffe. I doubt Mozes will be received in Washington if she tries the same thing. I would like to see Michelle Obama take Judy to the woodshed though. That would be a sight to savor.
Many observers of this government have noted its extremism, intolerance, propensity to support violence, and racism. Judy Mozes has only reinforced that impression.