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Barkat Dines With Kimye, Riles Ultra-Orthodox

Trayf served; news site censors Kardashian’s face—twice

Jonathan Zalman
April 15, 2015
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West dine with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on April 14, 2015. (Facebook)
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West dine with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on April 14, 2015. (Facebook)

The spectacle machine that is Kimye, now on tour in Israel, has managed to conquer the headlines of the ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem.

On Tuesday Jerusalem’s mayor Nir Barkat took the famous couple out for a meal. Barkat believed the occasion was a ripe public relations opportunity for his city, which he’s presided over since 2008, so he posted a picture of the event to his Facebook page.

But Barkat’s decisions—his choice in restaurant, and in posting a picture of Kim Kardashian—did not sit well with ultra-Orthodox website “Kikar HaShabbat,” which deemed the mayor’s actions as insensitive, reported Haaretz.

“Raising a glass to Jerusalem with Kim Kardashian and Kayne West!” Barkat captioned the photo (translated from Hebrew). “I asked them to serve as Jerusalem’s ambassador’s and spread the word that Jerusalem is an open city and welcomes everyone.”

Barkat’s first apparent offense was to bring his guests to Mona, a restaurant that serves unkosher food aplenty, like oysters and crab bisque, or buttered chicken au gratin with mustard hollandaise, which was actually ordered by the beautiful duo who perhaps cut up the buttery poultry into itty-bitty bites and airplaned them into their daughter North’s mouth. (Maybe the non-Orthodox Barkat, who does not in fact eat trayf, even helped out the first-time parents by making zooming and whooshing noises to accompany the hypothetical feeding.)

Barkat’s second apparent offense was to include in the photo Mrs. West, who, though known for orchestrated flauntings of her body, appeared “covered” and simply out for a nice meal.

Still, the publication felt that the entire occasion—organized and publicized by the mayor—stank.

As a result, Kardashian was referred to as “singer Kanye West’s wife” and photoshopped twice in two versions of Barkat’s picture that was published by the website.

In one version, Kardashian’s presence is smeared by an 8-bit Nintendo graphics blurring; in another, she’s superimposed by the actual bill that details the trayf.

Also pertinent: the diners ordered stellar wine and carpaccio, as well as a burger with fries.

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.