A politician in western France has received backlash following an insensitive tweet in reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
After a Twitter account that appears to belong to Montreuil-Juigné Deputy Mayor Jacques Renaud compared a dead child to halal meat Wednesday, the social network erupted with sharp criticism of the political figure's callous remark.
The controversy began when the account shared a tweet pledging support for the Jewish people in France who have recently been the target of anti-Semitic attacks. A French Twitter user responded to Renaud's comment with a question about the deputy mayor's thoughts on a photo. The image attached to the tweet appears to show a dead child in Gaza.
Renaud's account responded later, writing: "It's Halal meat I suppose?"
@StonMichel il s'agit de viande Halal je suppose ?
— Jacques Renaud (@JacquesRenaud49) July 22, 2014
— Dalia Ezzat (@DaliaEzzat_) July 23, 2014While Twitter immediately surged with reactions to the comment -- some pointed to the apparent racism, while others criticized Renaud for making such a heartless comment as deputy mayor -- it later came to light that the account may be a fraud.
According to Metronews, Renaud's team said that he has never had a Twitter account and the deputy mayor has reportedly filed a police complaint for identity theft. The office of Montreuil-Juigné Mayor Stéphane Piednoir told Ouest-France that his deputy's account had been hacked.
The account purportedly run by Renaud is still live, and the inflammatory tweet has not been deleted.