'Leave Dark Ages and join us,' Israel urges Arabs
Israel's foreign ministry has published a "racist" cartoon calling on Arabs to leave the Dark Ages and forge relations with the Jewish state.
The ministry's Arabic-language Twitter account posted the political cartoon on Sunday, depicting Arabs as a radicalised peasant and Israel as a utopian future.
"As the English proverb says: if you can't beat them, join them! The time has come for cooperation between Israel and its neighbours to build a bright future for the region instead of boycotting and remaining in the Middle Ages," the tweet said.
"The prospect of change in the Middle East will come through realising that relations with Israel will be beneficial for Arab countries," it said.
The illustration posted with the text shows a donkey-riding man wearing traditional Arab clothing in front of a futuristic city with the message: "Welcome to Israel".
"I boycott you Israel," shouts the angry looking man as the donkey thinks to itself: "He's as stubborn as a mule".
Social media users were quick to criticise the cartoon as "deeply racist" and accused it of propagating propaganda that Israel is a civilised country in comparison to neighbouring Arab states.
The tweet comes as fresh tensions simmered in the West Bank following US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
There have been near-daily protests across the Palestinian territories and the wider Muslim world since Trump's announcement.
The UN General Assembly approved a motion last week rejecting Washington's controversial decision - by a margin of two-thirds.
Only eight countries stood with the US in voting against the resolution, among them Guatemala and Honduras.
A deluge of recent reports have claimed rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel could soon be a reality.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE's deep distrust of Shia power Iran is shared with Israel and has helped thaw relations.
An Egyptian lawmaker revealed this week that a number of Arab countries are quietly dealing with Israel "under the table".
Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab states to have formal peace treaties with Israel.