Israeli culture minister stirs controversy by Jerusalem dress

Culture Minister Miri Regev (r) wears specially designed Jerusalem dress to Cannes film festival

While Cannes has so far been relatively free of major fashion disasters (although it is only Day 2), Israel’s far-right culture minister caused something of a stink with a dress she wore on the red carpet Wednesday.

Miri Regev, attending the opening ceremony for Ismael’s Ghosts, made a loud political statement with a white dress emblazoned with the skyline of Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock.

The dress was commissioned by Regev from designer Aviad Arik Herman to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War in 1967 in which Israeli forces took control of East Jerusalem. Israel claims sovereignty over the entire city, but much of the world – including the United Nations – still regards the east, including the Old City, as being under military occupation.

Both Israelis and Palestinians view Jerusalem as their capital.

“I am proud to celebrate this historic date through art and fashion, and I am happy that this work by Israeli designer Aviad Herman is so moving and honors the beautiful status of our eternal capital, Jerusalem,” said Regev, according to The Times of Israel.

The social media response was swift and colorful, with several Twitter uses offering photoshopped versions of the dress. Among the variations were pictures of the dress featuring images of the Israeli separation wall, flames over the skyline and a bomb exploding in Gaza.

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