This morning, the official account of the Israeli embassy in Washington tweeted this astonishingly racist image. It appears designed to tap in to common tropes of Muslims as angry, irrational anti-American mobs.
This is precisely the kind of image whose dominance and role in American media Edward Said traced in his classic 1981 book Covering Islam.
The context is the US-Iranian rapprochement and diplomacy that has enraged Israel and its regional allies including Saudi Arabia. Having failed to win the argument that the US should go to war against Iran over its nuclear energy program, the Israelis are turning to even cruder, more emotive propaganda than usual.
It’s ironic that Israel would hope to convince anyone that an image like this – however one interprets it – can represent the whole of Iran, when Israel always insists any negative images of Israel are exceptional and non-representative.