17 February 2020 - 23 Shevat 5780 - כ"ג שבט ה' אלפים תש"פ
Israeli brewery apologise after placing Gandhi image on beer bottle E-mail

A public diplomatic spat between India and Israel has been averted amid outcry in India, as an Israeli beer brewer Malka Brewery apologized for using an image of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi on their bottles.

The beer company claimed not to have known of Gandhi’s championing for a ban on alcohol. The picture of Gandhi appeared along with photos of famous Israeli leaders on beer bottles produced earlier this year by Malka Beer, a boutique brewery in Northern Israel, India Today News reported in July.

The image nearly set off a diplomatic tiff between Delhi and Jerusalem. “Malka Beer offers its heartfelt apologies to the people and the Government of India for hurting their sentiments. We highly respect and value Mahatma Gandhi and regret our action of putting his image on our bottles,” Malka’s brand manager, Gilad Dror, said in a statement.

The picture of Gandhi enraged Indian immigrants in Israel, who brought the matter to the attention of the Indian embassy in Tel-Aviv, Ynet news reported.

Malka officials said they wanted to honor world leaders and were embarrassed to learn that Gandhi favoured banning alcohol sales in India. The company said the beer bottles in question were produced in a special line for Israel’s Independence Day, and were mostly gone from the shelves.

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