The wife of an Israeli government minister, who is herself a well-known media personality, went into full damage control after she tweeted a joke about President Barack Obama that some called racist.
“Do u know what Obama coffee is? Black and weak,” Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes posted on Twitter Sunday before quickly removing the tweet.
Some immediately accused her of being racist, posting comments addressed to her including, "Have you gone mad," and "You'd better erase this...frighteningly racist."
Mozes apologized both in English and Hebrew, writing she was just conveying a “stupid joke.”
I apologize, that was a stupid joke somebody told me.— Judy Mozes (@JudyMozes) June 21, 2015
In Hebrew, she wrote, “I heard an unsuccessful joke, idiotic and I quoted it and it was a foolish mistake. I did not mean it, disrespectful and inappropriate. It happens.” She also apologized directly to President Obama.
President Obama I shouldnt have written the inappropriate joke I heard. I like people no matter about their race and religion.— Judy Mozes (@JudyMozes)June 21, 2015
Given that her husband is Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, serving in the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who as it is has poor relations with the U.S. president, Mozes later wrote she was “mainly afraid of my husband’s reaction.”
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz pointed out that Shalom’s duties as minister include overseeing strategic dialogue with the U.S.
Sorry if I caused any offence to anyone. I hope I will stay married when my husband will land and hear what I did.— Judy Mozes (@JudyMozes) June 21, 2015
Even though she apologized repeatedly, she also questioned those jumping to accuse her of racism.
She wrote in Hebrew: “I messed up, but do they call out racism about every joke about Polish, the ultra-Orthodox, Moroccans, Jews, etc.?”
Besides the negative reactions, there were others who posted messages supporting her. She retweeted some of them:
Vered Refael: “Enough, maybe?! It wasn’t so terrible, especially since she already apologized twice.”
Shmulik Avraham: “Keep smiling, Judy … the herd of the speech police and franchise of thought will come after you in any case.”