To glorify coexistence between Jews and Muslims, Israel is stealing an American image

As part of social media efforts to extol the importance of coexistence and tolerance, the Israeli Foreign Ministry earlier this week stole a photo of an observant Jewish woman and a Muslim woman transferred to the United States.

And the photo was published on the Arabic-language Twitter account of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the comment: “On the occasion of the International Day for Tolerance. With an Islamic headscarf and a Jewish headdress, a Muslim woman and a Jew in a souvenir photo. What a beautiful coexistence and spirit of tolerance.”

However, the photo was used without the permission of the Jewish photographer who is also there, without the consent of the Muslim woman in it – and without informing people that their photos would be shared by the State of Israel. Israel has nearly half a million followers of Israel’s account in Arabic. The photo was also shared on the Facebook page of the Israeli embassy in Uzbekistan to nearly 6,000 followers in September.

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The tweet containing the stolen image was deleted Thursday afternoon after Times of Israel I contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about this, but it remained on the Facebook page of the Israeli Embassy in Uzbekistan at press time.

The photo was taken by Skills of Rory Baker Ness, executive director of the Council on Jewish Community Relations of St. Louis, in St. Charles, Missouri, in 2019, and posted on his personal Twitter page.

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When Baker Ness saw that her photo had been taken and used without her permission this week, she called the local Israeli consulate, but received no response. (The Times of Israel requested and obtained permission from him to use the image in question for this article).

A screenshot of a since-deleted tweet shows a stolen image shared by Israel’s Arabic Twitter account on November 16, 2021.

The Times of Israel I contacted the State Department for comment. A spokesperson said he was looking into the question, but did not provide another answer.

Under Israeli law, it is illegal to use a photo or other creative work without permission, with a possible penalty of up to 100,000 shekels.

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