Soles – June 10, 2009
It’s been reported that the photo was taken while Obama was talking on the phone to the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Some Israelis are insulted that the soles of his shoes are prominently up front in the photo. In the Middle East and Arab countries, showing someone the sole of your shoe or throwing your shoe at someone, is an insult. Shoe traditions go back to Biblical days in the region. (Read the Book of Ruth for one example.)
We may never know if Obama orchestrated this on purpose to insult Israel or Mr. Netanyahu, but it certainly appears that Obama is quite casual about his interactions with the Israeli Prime Minister. If he was serious about and respectful of the discussion, he’d be sitting up with his feet on the floor. When I make a business call that concerns something important, I automatically sit up straight and pay close attention. When I’m making a casual call, I may kick back.
As an American, I’m offended to some degree. I respect and revere the Office of the President of the United States. I want to go in there and say, “Mr. President, please get your feet off the desk. Remember where you are, sir. You’re not in just any office. This isn’t just any old desk. If you don’t have respect for yourself as President, please respect the Oval Office and the desk where America’s presidents have worked for decades. “
I don’t want to see photos of the soles of his shoes.
What has he stepped in?