This is utterly bizarre.
The Jerusalem Post reports that during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s second official visit to Israel, he and his wife dined at Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence on May 2, 2018.
Netanyahu’s private chef — Israeli celebrity chef Moshe Segev (aka Segev Moshe) — capped the gourmet dinner with a dessert of chocolates served in a shoe.
The Jerusalem Post notes that it is considered highly offensive in Japanese culture, but I would think that being served food in a shoe would be offensive in any culture.
While Abe took the unusual presentation in stride, Japanese and Israeli diplomats and Japan watchers were shocked that the Japanese prime minister would be served from a shoe, albeit a metal shoe.
A senior Israeli diplomat, who had previously served in Japan, said:
“This was a stupid and insensitive decision. There is nothing more despised in Japanese culture than shoes. Not only do they not enter their houses while wearing shoes, you will not find shoes in their offices either. Even the prime minister, ministers and members of parliament do not wear shoes to work… It is equivalent to serving a Jewish guest chocolates in a dish shaped like a pig.”
A Japanese diplomat said:
“No culture puts shoes on the table. What precisely was this illustrious chef Segev thinking? 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.”
Segev is an award-winning chef, prominent restaurateur, author and television personality, and the head chef for Israel’s El Al Airlines. He is so proud of his insult that he posted to his Instagram account photos of the dinner, including a closeup of the dessert-in-a-shoe.
One Instagram user wrote:
“You’ve made your greatest fiasco ever. The nation will never forget this, Segev. I truly loved you. You should be ashamed.”
Abe first visited Israel in 2015, the first Japanese prime minister to have done so. During his recent visit, he and Netanyahu discussed North Korea, the Iran nuclear deal and Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
There is no way the chef would have done the dessert-in-a-shoe without informing Netanyahu before hand, and there is no way Netanyahu did not know that serving dessert in a shoe to Japanese PM Abe (or anyone) isn’t an insult.
The only way I can make sense of this incident is that it was a calculated insult to Abe and the country of Japan in retaliation for:
- Abe’s remarks in a speech the day before to the Palestinian National Council, that the Holocaust wasn’t caused by anti-Semitism, but by the Jews’ “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters.” Netanyahu calls Abe’s remarks “anti-Semitic” and the real reason why there is still no Israeli-Palestinian peace.
- Abe informing Netanyahu of Japan’s policy position:
- Japan has no plans to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
- Israel should restrain its settlement construction.
- Japan still supports the nuclear agreement with Iran, which it sees as a contribution to Middle East stability. (Haaretz)
Jim Stone, the “independent journalist” fraudster, maintains that the 9.1-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, destroying Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactor and triggering the devastating tsunami, was actually the result of an underwater nuclear detonation by Israel to punish Japan for offering to help Iran with its nuclear program.
Compared to that, being served dessert in a shoe is nothing.