From ABC News:
CAIRO – One of the Israeli military’s most visible spokesmen is under fire for a photo he posted on his Facebook page captioned “Obama style” in which his face is smeared with mud.
Sacha Dratwa posted the photo in late September, but since the furor he has restricted access to his account. A screengrab of the original post circulating online showed that it drew mixed reactions, with one commenter saying, “You know this is racist, yeah?”
In the photo, Dratwa appears to be smeared in mud from the Dead Sea, a popular activity for many visiting and living in Israel.
Dratwa responded to a user on Twitter accusing him of racism saying, “I’m not a racist, please stop [spreading] lies about me.” He also posted a response on Facebook saying the firestorm around the photo misrepresents his opinions and is a “cynical use of the information” on his profile.
“I am, and have always been, completely candid about my beliefs and have nothing to hide,” wrote Dratwa on Sunday. “The aforementioned photos do not reflect my beliefs and have no bearing whatsoever on my position in the IDF.”
The photo shown above was clearly on Dratwa’s Facebook page, so I’m not sure how Dratwa can claim it’s a “cynical use.” While the picture isn’t “blackface” as some claim, there’s little doubt that the combination of the Dead Sea mud and the “Obama style” caption are used to the same effect. Had he omitted a caption he wouldn’t be in hot water now.
As it stands he’ll be lucky to survive the week. The IDF will surely move him to a new, less visible assignment.
Image via Al-Akhbar English