September 27, 2012

There Are Some Pics You Just Can't Defuse: Bibi and the Bomb

Netanyahu red line

How many ways was Netanyahu’s performance yesterday the n-th degree of crazy? Well, here are a few:

1. The man didn’t stop to consider that such an analogy, right there in black and white, would make him look a little, uh, incendiary?

2. The guy didn’t think about how this would come off when reporters tried to fashion it into a headline? (“Israel Prime Minister threatens U.N. delegates with a bomb.”)

3. Hey, I’ve got a great idea! Why don’t I use a cartoon to represent what Muslims are up to!

4. Terrorism: the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

5. You don’t think you come off like a concrete thinker when you draw a red line to stand for drawing a red line?

6. If you recall, I did a General Assembly post last year with Mario Tama analyzing pictures of Netanyahu’s speech from photos Mario took with a telephoto lens. What we we’re examining in those pictures were emphatic edits Bibi had scribbled in a rebuttal to the speech by Abu Abbas applying to the U.N. for Palestinian statehood. …Looking at those pics and the photos from yesterday, maybe someone should finally separate this man from his Sharpie?

7. Eat your heart out, Clint … and take your chair with you??

…If you told me last month I would soon see a more corrosive prop in a major political speech than the one in Tampa, I would have said you were crazy.

8. …And the stills not only make him look nuttier, but invite photojournalists to deliver some blow back. A sampling:

Netanyahu bomb fuse

Tell me this doesn’t reduce Netanyahu to a cartoon character “holding” the fuse like that?

Netanyahu UN bomb speech cell pictures

I think we could say that any performance that caused U.N. delegates to start snapping away with their cell phones and iPads could be defined as a spectacle.


Mario captures Bibi with his best Dr. Evil face.

Netanyahu General Assembly outstretched hand

I’m sorry but you started it last year by likening the Iranians to Nazis, then you top it off by visually self-detonating. You deserve this.

(photo 1: Seth Wenig/AP; photo 2: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty; image 3: screen shot via adelaidenow; photo 4: Mario Tama/Getty Images; photo 5: Richard Drew/AP)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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