Scaremongering and religious division on the internet is nothing new in 2014, but one might reasonably expect better behaviour from a nation's embassy.
However, the Israeli Embassy in Dublin has landed in serious trouble for tweeting images of iconic European artworks recontextualised as Islamist militants. All the images were captioned with the words "Israel Is the Last Frontier of the Free World".
In one image, the Mona Lisa wears a hijab and holds an enormous rocket with the slogan "Israel Now, Paris Next". A niqab has been photoshopped onto the Molly Malone statue in Dublin with the tagline "Israel Now, Dublin Next". In another image, Michelangelo's statue of David appears in a keffiyeh and a belt of explosives.
Unsurprisingly, the images caused an online uproar and sparked accusations of racism and Islamophobia. The tweets were deleted over the weekend, and the Israeli ambassador's office told Newsweek that "there was no intention to cause insult or offense to anyone".
But these images retain all the qualities of the right-wing propaganda machine – xenophobic, factually insolvent and, worst of all, vague enough to stir up anti-Islamic sentiment without actually having to explain the tricky details of how a Muslim takeover of Europe would actually work.
This isn't the first time the Israeli Embassy's Twitter account has stirred up controversy. Just two weeks ago, it tweeted an image of Hitler on the Palestinian flag with the words "Hamas take the lead from Hitler".
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