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Dinner Faux Pas: Netanyahu Serves Visiting Japanese Counterpart Dessert In A Shoe

Move over George Bush Sr., who in January 1992 infamously vomited on then-Japanese premier Kiichi Miyazawa during an official state dinner in Tokyo; as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may have bested the former American president’s culinary faux pas. According to reports, the Israeli leader’s private chef, Moshe Segev, earlier this month served up dessert to visiting premier Shinzo Abe in a metal shoe, which is regarded as highly offensive in Japan. “There is nothing more despised in Japanese culture than shoes,” a senior Israeli diplomat previously stationed in Japan told local media. “Not only do they not enter their houses while wearing shoes, you will not find shoes in their offices either. Even the prime minister, ministers and members of parliament do not wear shoes to work…. It is equivalent to serving a Jewish guest chocolates in a dish shaped like a pig.” Despite the affront, Abe, who in 2015 became the first-ever Japanese prime minister to visit Israel, reportedly took the incident in stride. The Japanese are, after all, also known for their proper etiquette.

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