Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was the target of incessant social media roasting on Sunday after he flubbed a Twitter post congratulating the USA on the occasion of its Independence Day.
Lapid’s Hebrew-language post celebrated the freedom and prosperity that characterize America and hailed the unbreakable friendship between the US and Israel. He ended the message with two emojis, one the flag of Israel and the other the flag of…Liberia.
The flag of Liberia resembles that of the United States, but it only contains one star. At the tiny scale of an emoji, it’s perhaps an easy and innocent mistake to make. Still, people expect a bit more polish from the official representative of their nation, and so promptly laid into Lapid.
ככה זה כשאין בגרות pic.twitter.com/dbWXaQelpX
— ???? ✡︎ ???????????????????????????????????? ©️ ???????? (@CopyRightIsrael) July 4, 2021
The tweet with the wrong flag was quickly removed (Twitter doesn’t allow editing existing posts) and a new one appeared with the same Hebrew-language message minus the emojis. But that wasn’t the only mistake people pointed out in Lapid’s post.
The foreign minister used the Hebrew acronym for USA, but failed to put the double apostrophes that typically go before the last letter, so ארהב instead of ארה״ב. Now, ארהב isn’t a word in Hebrew, so everyone knew what Lapid meant. Still, many again bemoaned that they don’t expect such grammatical faux pas from their top diplomat.
Perhaps a bit more egregious than the misspelled acronym was the particular wording Lapid used. To someone who knows Hebrew, it is clear that Lapid is saying that “Israel has no better ally than the US, and the US has no better friend than Israel.”
But this was posted to a global public forum where not a few Americans were sure to see the foreign minister’s post. So the translation into English is also of importance, and the way that both Twitter and Google translate Lapid’s chosen wording is less than flattering:
I’m 99.9% sure this is not translated accurately. pic.twitter.com/FrCzrxTmSF
— Bathsheba Dreams in Blue (@Inkling61) July 4, 2021
Yair Lapid dropped out of high school before earning his matriculation certificate, and this fact fueled the mockery, as well as long-standing complaints that he is unqualified to hold a high government post.
This however did not stop Lapid from having a successful career as a journalist. He went on to become one of the Jewish state’s most personable television hosts, and many believe his likable character will serve Israel well in the role of foreign minister.