Monday, March 18th | 11 Adar II 5779

March 5, 2015 8:51 pm

Israeli Foreign Ministry Workers Chided for Dressing as ‘Jihadi John’ and Victim for Purim

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Two Israeli Foreign Ministry employees tastelessly chose to dress up as Jihadi John and one of his victims. PHOTO: Albert Barel

Israeli Foreign Ministry officials sharply criticized the decision of a pair of the Ministry’s employees to dress up as ISIS’ executioner “Jihadi John” and one of his victims that he intended to “put to death,” Israel’s Channel 2 News reported.

A few days ago, the Foreign Ministry held a party before the annual Purim holiday, where some of the workers decided to wear costumes. A Foreign Ministry official said that “No one placed any restrictions on the costumes that the employees could wear. The party was held at the Ministry.”

To everyone’s shock, a pair of Ministry employees, Albert Barel and his wife Orit Ben-Shimon, chose to wear costumes inspired by the radical terrorist organization, ISIS. Some office employees thought the costumes were humorous, yet the majority felt uncomfortable, according to the report. Many also expressed concern that such costumes were not suitable for the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and could portray Israel in a negative light internationally, since it could be seen as legitimizing the terrorist organization’s activities, which has executed hundreds of people, killing them in the most brutal ways.

“Most people did not laugh, they were extremely confused and didn’t know how to react,” said a Foreign Ministry official. “Many of them argued that this was improper and tasteless, particularly considering the current situation. The workers didn’t approve of the costumes, even though this was a Purim party. They went too far. This was not funny at all.”

Another Foreign Ministry employee stated that these costumes sent the exact opposite message from that of the Purim holiday. “What will the countries who are fighting ISIS think of us when they see employees of the Foreign Ministry dressed up as an executioner and victim of ISIS? The message that this costume sends to the entire world, particularly on Purim, is very problematic. In private, there were very angry reactions, and we did not know what to make of their behavior.”

However, some of the couple’s friends on Facebook noted their approval of the costumes and praised the couple’s creativity.

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