Lebanese advert hails army ... with image of Israeli soldier


Virgin Megastore mistakenly posts picture of Israeli soldier with caption 'Keep your eyes on us, o hero' to commemorate Lebanese Army Day

Screen-grab of the deleted Twitter post from Virgin showing an Israeli soldier
Areeb Ullah's picture
Last update: 
Monday 8 August 2016 10:40 UTC

A company has been forced to apologise after it used the image of an Israeli soldier for its advertising campaign to commemorate the Lebanese Army Day holiday. 

The Virgin Megastore's Lebanese service Ticketing Box Office swiftly removed the photo of an Israeli soldier looking into the horizon with the caption "Keep your eyes on us, o hero" after Lebanese social media users mocked the mishap and claimed that the campaign was part of an Israeli conspiracy. 

Israel and Lebanon have fought three bitter conflicts since the late 70s and are technically still at war.

Israel invaded the south of Lebanon in 1979 and again in 1982, before withdrawing in 2000 after pressure from the Iranian-backed Shia militant group, Hezbollah. Israel destroyed much of Lebanon’s infrastructure in 2006 after it clashed again with Hezbollah.

Ticketing Box Office apologised for the mishap and condemned individuals who were questioning the company's "patriotism". 

"We apologise for the image that was wrongly published and we regret the systematic campaign that is targeting us as a result of this image whose intention was to celebrate the Lebanese army on its anniversary."

The statement went on to condemn social media users who used the mishap to question the company's "patriotism", adding: "Great people plan, big people lead, heroes are victorious, and cowards take advantage, long live the Lebanese army and love live Lebanon."

Companies throughout Lebanon cash in on the annual holiday, which is used to commemorate and thank the Lebanese Army for its service.

The Lebanese army is widely revered within Lebanon: many consider it the only neutral institution left in the country after years of government deadlock and sectarian violence.