Netanyahu and Abbas: the kiss

By Jessica Elgot, November 17, 2011
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The ad is part of an campaign by clothing brand Benetton

The ad is part of an campaign by clothing brand Benetton

Israelis reacted with amusement to the latest campaign by clothing brand Benetton, which shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas locked in a passionate embrace.

The Italian brand said the photoshopped images were "symbolic images of reconciliation - with a touch of ironic hope and constructive provocation - to stimulate reflection on how politics, faith and ideas, when they are divergent and mutually opposed, must still lead to dialogue and mediation."

But the brand has been forced to pull one version of its campaign posters, of Pope Benedict XVI kissing Egypt's Grand Sheikh of the Al-Azhar Mosque Mohammad Ahmed Al Tayeb also kissing. After Vatican protests, the image was pulled and the company apologised.

Other images include President Barack Obama kissing Venezuela President Hugo Chavez, French President Nicholas Sarkozi kissing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, China's leader Hu Jintao also with President Obama, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and Lee Myung-bak, President of South Korea.

Last updated: 3:56pm, November 17 2011