Police probe Facebook picture portraying Lapid as Hitler

Picture posted on social network shows finance minister with a toothbrush mustache, in an apparent reference to Hitler.

June 18, 2013 20:35
1 minute read.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid/

Lapid looking sullen 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Police at the national headquarters in the capital announced on Tuesday that they had opened an investigation into a picture posted on Facebook earlier in the day showing Finance Minister Yair Lapid with a toothbrush mustache, apparently in a reference to Adolf Hitler.

Many lawmakers criticized the photo, which included the words “Israeli economy despot,” including MK Reuven Rivlin.

“What have we come to as a society when economic preference has become a reason for incitement and the dark use of the Holocaust?” the former Knesset speaker asked.

Commentators online questioned the authenticity of the post and the way in which the media storm originated.

The picture was first posted online by a Facebook user named “Israela Levi Argov” with only a few dozen “friends,” whose profile was opened in April. Argov’s profile picture is a picture of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, while pictures she posted in a gallery called “just me” seem to perfectly match pictures of a Madison, Wisconsin- based author named Linda Levi, who according to her personal blog specializes in teaching mathematics to children. A Facebook message sent to Levi was not answered by press time.

Two hours after the picture was posted, public relations consultant Rani Rahav sent an email to a wide network of Israeli news outlets – including The Jerusalem Post – calling for the police to open an investigation.

By mid-afternoon, the picture had garnered condemnations from a wide array of Israeli politicians, as well as from former deputy defense minister Dalia Rabin, who said it reminded her of mock-ups made of her father, prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, before he was assassinated in 1995.

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