In Jerusalem’s Cinema City movie theater, among several statues of famous characters, until Monday stood a caveman with perfectly coiffed hair and a carefully sculpted mustache (but no beard), clutching a set of binoculars.
When you or I imagine a caveman, we likely think of a dirty guy with a prominent brow-ridge and scraggly hair, but some strange soul decided Cro-Magnon man actually resembled a figure familiar to followers of Israeli politics: MK Amir Peretz.
Peretz, a member of the Labor party, was defense minister in 2007 when he visited an IDF drill in the Golan Heights and made the humorous but entirely understandable gaffe of trying to look through binoculars — with the lens cap still on.
Photographs of the mistake were published internationally and were used by his opponents as a symbol of his alleged ineptitude in handling the Second Lebanon War.
MK Shelly Yachimovich even commented on the caveman statue on her Facebook page, calling it racist, rude and disrespectful. “Who are the managers that walked by and were not appalled? Who are the visitors who walked by and were unfazed? And who didn’t protest?”
Despite the uncanny resemblance between the two, the movie theater told the NRG website that the statues were produced outside of the country and any similarity to the politician was purely coincidental.
“Out of sensitivity and due to the resemblance people are finding, even though this was in no way our intention, we will remove the statue,” they said. “We apologize for any discomfort and reject any claim of racism.”
The stature was removed on Wednesday.