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Red carpet controversy: How Twitter remixed controversial Israeli dress

The outfit worn by Israel's minister of culture was supposed to mark 'the 50 years of liberation and reunification of Jerusalem'
Israeli culture minister Miri Regev on the red carpet in Cannes on 17 May (Twitter)

It was almost as shared as photos of Monica Belluci, who presided over the opening of the 70th Cannes festival, but the outfit of Israeli culture minister Miri Regev sparked controversy for very different reasons.

Translation: "Cannes festival : for the Israeli minister of culture, Miri Regev, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel"

The subject of anger? A long white and golden dress with a view of Jerusalem printed on it. The Tower of David, the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall could all be seen on the garment.

In her own words, the minister wanted to mark "the 50 years of liberation and reunification of Jerusalem". The "reunification of Jerusalem" – as it is called by Israelis – was when Israel captured the Old City following the Six-Day War of June 1967.

The event is commemorated each year in Israel with Jerusalem Day, a national holiday: the 50th anniversary falls this year.

"I am proud to celebrate this historic date through art and fashion," she said, "and I am happy that this work by Israeli designer Aviad Herman is so moving and honours the beautiful status of our eternal capital, Jerusalem."

Separation walls and alien invasions

Her enthusiasm was not shared on Twitter. A few users took the dress and inserted in it the separation wall built by Israel in the Palestinian territories; or photoshopped scenes of Israeli bombings on the Gaza strip.

Translation: "The real dress worn by Miri Regev at the Cannes festivals"

Israeli Arabs were quick to highlight the plight of Palestinians by adding the West Bank separation barrier to Regev's outfit ...
Translation: Occupation Chic. And here Miri I fixed another piece of Jerusalem for you 

Others took a more lighthearted approach, like this user, who superimposed the alien invasion from Independence Day on Jerusalem.

Translation: Mismatched colours

It is not the first time that Regev has made the news. At the end of April, she called for an inquiry into an Arab-Israeli theatre after its director refused to call the man responsible for an attack that killed a soldier a "terrorist".

In early May, she also asked for the UNESCO offices to be closed in Jerusalem after the resolution taken by the agency's council to describe Israel as an "occupying power".

The resolution, proposed by several Arab countries, stated that "all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem" are "null and void and must be rescinded forthwith".

It denounces the annexation law of the eastern part of Jerusalem conquered in 1967 by Israel, which includes the Old City, the Western Wall and the Al-Aqsa mosque.

The international community doesn’t consider Jerusalem as capital of Israel. According to the Oslo agreements, the status of the city must be decided by a common agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

This article was originally published on Middle East Eye's French version.

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