When it comes to propaganda theatrics, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can be as bizarre and obnoxious as North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Case in point: One of the best, most memorable moments of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia was the one when 25-year-old Iranian goalkeeper, Alireza Beiranvand, blocked a penalty kick from Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, who is arguably the best soccer player in the world.
Iran eventually lost the match to Portugal, but Beiranvand stole hearts across the world — not just due to his impressive performance but also because of his inspirational life story.
However, as the world praised Beiranvand, Netanyahu decided to cash in on the player's fame to criticize the Iranian government.
In a pre-recorded message for Israeli, also Iranian, citizens, Netanyahu asks: "Can you imagine how hard it is to stop Ronaldo from scoring a goal?"
He then answers the question, saying it is an impossible feat, adding he can claim so because he used to play soccer himself.
As Netanyahu praises Beiranvand and all Iranian people for their capability to achieve impossible goals, he proceeds to slam the Iranian government.
Towards the end, Netanyahu presses Iranians to imagine a world in which their government invested in its citizens instead of in "war."
Iran and Israel are regional rivals, so it makes sense for Netanyahu to eviscerate the powers that be in Tehran. But the fact that he did so while cashing in on a soccer player's hard-earned recognition was a little too inappropriate and tone-deaf.
But Netanyahu is no stranger to such controversies.
The video comes just weeks after he created an equally bizarre PowerPoint presentation to convince U.S. President Donald Trump to opt out of the peace agreement with Iran — which Trump did, eventually.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters