Some Israelis Irked by Obama Photo

By Sadie Bass

Jun 10, 2009 3:31pm

ABC's Kirit Radia reports from Washington: Several Israeli media outlets have expressed outrage over a White House photo released Monday showing President Obama on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, with whom the US has sparred publicly in recent days over the sensitive issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The photo shows Obama on the phone with his feet up on his desk, the soles of his shoes facing to the camera, which the reports claim was a sign of disrespect.   The Israeli daily Ha'aretz published an article today saying, in part: "A photo released by the White House, which shows Obama talking on the phone with Netanyahu on Monday, speaks volumes: The president is seen with his legs up on the table, his face stern and his fist clenched, as though he were dictating to Netanyahu: 'Listen up and write 'Palestinian state' a hundred times. That's right, Palestine, with a P.' As an enthusiast of Muslim culture, Obama surely knows there is no greater insult in the Middle East than pointing the soles of one's shoes at another person. Indeed, photos of other presidential phone calls depict Obama leaning on his desk, with his feet on the floor." There is no indication the White House meant any disrespect but the Isearili media concerns appear to illustrate the sensistivity and unease in US Israeli relations.

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