White House responds to 'racist' Obama tweet by Israeli minister's wife

By REUTERS
June 23, 2015 00:01

"On Twitter you are limited to 140 characters but it still has the capacity to be quite revealing," White House spokesman says after Judy Nir Mozes Shalom's social media post.

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Silvan Shalom

Silvan Shalom and his wife Judy. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The White House responded on Monday to an Israeli minister's wife's tweet comparing US President Barack Obama to "black and weak" coffee.

"On Twitter you are limited to 140 characters but it still has the capacity to be quite revealing,"White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

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"Do u know what Obama Coffee is? Black and weak," Judy Nir Mozes Shalom, wife of Israeli Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, wrote on her Twitter account. Within a few hours, her tweets raised a string of comments from her followers who accused her of racism and harm to Israel's image.

Shalom deleted the tweet and wrote: "I apologize, that was a stupid joke somebody told me" followed by "President Obama I shouldn't have written the inappropriate joke I heard. I like people no matter about their race and religion."

Shalom rejected an offer to comment on the subject and her husband, Silvan, was in London for an Israeli-UK joint strategic challenge conference. Her main fear, she wrote, was her husband's reaction to the tweet: "I hope I will stay married when my husband will land and hear what I did," she tweeted.

The White House was also asked about a new UN report suggesting Israel and Palestinian militant groups committed grave abuses of international humanitarian law.

Earnest said it was still in the process of reading the report but added, "We indicated last year in the midst of this conflict, that we support Israel's right to self-defense. At the same time, we expressed deep concern about those civilians in Gaza that were in harm's way and we urged all parties to do everything they could to protect all civilians who are essentially caught in the crossfire of this conflict."

UN investigators said on Monday that Israel and Palestinian militant groups committed grave abuses of international humanitarian law during the 2014 Gaza conflict that may amount to war crimes. The independent investigators were led by American Mary McGowan Davis.


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