Yossi Sheli, who was dining with Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro ahead of the Copa America Final on Sunday, appears to have wanted to omit the fact that he was eating the marine crustaceans - considered non-kosher since the Torah prohibits eating all shellfish - and doctored the images by blotting out the meals.
Antes da final da Copa América entre Brasil e Peru, o presidente @jairbolsonaro e o @embaixadoryossi almoçaram juntos em Brasília. Eles irão acompanhar a partida desejando sorte para a seleção brasileira em busca de mais um título. Vai Brasil!! pic.twitter.com/trDHb0ftCh— Israel no Brasil (@IsraelinBrazil) July 7, 2019
As the Twitter post went viral, social media exploded with memes and humorous reactions to the incident, prompting the ambassador to issue two contradicting responses to what had transpired.
Sheli initially issued an official press release, saying,”it was the president’s palace and all kinds of dishes were being served … I didn’t eat what was on my plate which it why I burned it in order for it not to be interpreted any other way.”
In another interview later in the day Sheli said he ate another marine animal - salmon that’s “similar in color” during the dinner.
However, he later contradicted himself by stating that he couldn’t refuse what was being served to him in order not to hurt the feelings of the president and undermine the relationship between the two countries.
The interviewer then pressed the ambassador further asking: “So did you eat the shellfish?” to which Sheli replied: “Unequivocally, no.”