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Bibi and the bomb: Buffoonery or clever tactics at the UN?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his much-anticipated speech at the United Nations General Assembly today. He started off by leaning casually on the podium and surveying the people in the hall. At one point he punctuated his speech with the idiomatic expression, “Yeah, right!” He gratified his fans on Twitter by lubricating their virtual drinking game with several much-anticipated references to the Holocaust (#drink!), radical Islam (#drink!) and – most of all – Iran (#drink #drink #drink).

In fact, Iran inspired Netanyahu to draw a diagram so that his simple-minded audience would understand how close that state was to developing a nuclear bomb.

Netanyahu uses a sophisticated diagram to explain how close Iran is to developing a nuclear bomb (photo: screenshot)

A few people commented that it looked as though it were drawn by Acme Cartoons and that it should have had the word BOOM!! drawn across it in red letters.

Netanyahu followed up by taking out a red marker and drawing a thick line at the 90 percent line – i.e., *this* was where the red line had to be drawn. Or else!

Bibi and the red line (photo: screenshot)

But even as people jeered on Twitter at the cartoonish diagram, Buzzfeed’s Zeke Miller suggested that Bibi’s buffoonery might have disguised a clever tactic. Who, now, remembers the speech Mahmoud Abbas gave less than one hour earlier?

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    1. Richard Witty

      At this point, you are distracted.

      If you are committed to peace, then analyze the policy implications, which are relevant which irrelevant, which possible for two, which requires outside intervention.

      If you are committed to a single state, then pursue that responsibly.

      Ridicule is not enough to make change. And, the change that it makes has disrespect and ridicule in its formula.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Jack

      When you thought this couldnt go lower. Im sure hes speech only isolated Israel more with such belligerent rhetoric.

      The first image apparently showing the israeli nuclear weapon bombs, they have no red lines.

      Reply to Comment
    3. O.Selznick

      “how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb” – a new book by Lisa Goldman.

      guess she would be fine with Iran as a nuclear power unregulated by SABA.

      and generally speaking, yes that wasnt a bright move in the speach but hey, can some one please write something about the points bibi made and not about the show?

      Ms. Goldman – its childish to think Iran could not be a possible threat to Israel. theres to much evidence.
      maybe nothing will happen if they become nuclear, but can you really rule out the possiblity that something will?

      Reply to Comment
      • Jack

        Because its nonsense – there is nothing to deal with which havent been dealt with before – the same rant of warmongering. Take any part of that speech or argument and let us show you how stupid that argument is.

        Reply to Comment
        • Khaled Cheema

          O. Selznick
          Before you go patronizing the author of this article, it might be instructive for you to learn who is threatening who?

          So long as an “Evil” Iran exists it serves a key purpose: Stop everyone thinking of the Palestinian peace process. It’s that simple.

          Even though Iran’s military budget is geared for Defence, Israel has been talking up the Iran threat. And even if Iran got the Bomb they would be insane to attack Israel first; and despite all their faults they DO want to live. (Besides, if Iran were so hating of Jews then why are none of the Persian Jews being “liquidated”?)

          So really all this is Bibi and the Israeli Political establishment trying to do a smoke and mirrors trick: Keep the Israeli people scared to death with Iran and no one’s going to talk about making Israel deal fairly with the Palestinians.

          Reply to Comment
    4. ToivoS

      Abbas has given enough speeches. What he needs to do now is to act and push the UN to recognize the PA has a government.

      Right now the world is enjoying the spectacle of the Israeli PM as a buffoon — if you consider that victory it does say something about how low your country has fallen.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Kolumn9

      Gimmick yes, buffoonery no. The point is to get headlines to force a response. He pretty much guaranteed headline coverage in all media even if some of it is disparaging.

      Reply to Comment
    6. sh

      Tomorrow there’ll be other headlines K9. Actually the biggest response he forced from his audience was an avalanche of proof that they are better at making gimmicks than he is. Truth is, he’s vulgar.

      Reply to Comment
    7. elixelx

      One thing all commentators have failed to notice about Bibi’s bomb–it is a TALMUDIC pedagogical device…
      Let me explain..The Rabbis of the Talmud never ever spoke in abstract terms about problems; they always constructed a MODEL.
      They didn’t talk about divorce, sex, self-defense or anything else without first saying something like: If Rueben and Simon both claimed the boundary markers
      between their properties had been moved what is to be done to determine whose property has been expropriated…
      And they always started with the SIMPLEST MODELS; A vs.B is then complicated by C which may be modified by D and etc…
      This is the among the 14 Talmudic rules of argument and logic (beginning with Kal V’Homer (arguing from small to great,) and G’Zerah Shawah (from great to small)
      and on to other means of establishing logical proof and arriving at solutions which were then enshrined into Law (Halakah).
      Take this wonderful example: if Reuven comes to court declaring that he wants to divorce his wife because she puts too much salt in his food, what is to be done?
      The Rabbis replied…he is to be granted the divorce IMMEDIATLY provided he pays back her dowry in full and promises NOT to have sex with her from that moment on!
      Now a reasonable man might conclude that the Rabbis are misogynist and cruel to grant a divorce under such a puerile pretence..
      but the Rabbis answered: If a man is vindictive enough, threatened enough, suspicious enough to give too much salt in his food as a reason for divorce–and it was NOT GRANTED–
      what would happen if the man and wife were to have to confront even greater problems (kal V’Homer) on which they disagreed?
      Here is a relationship that will end in grievous bodily harm, maybe even murder!
      Behold the Majesty of the clear and considered deliberations of ordinary men! Counter-intuitive? You Betcha!
      That’s the reason for Bibi’s Bomb–simple, two-dimensional, cartoonish and Talmud-approved–because on that simple red line on an Acme Bomb
      may rest the fate of the world and certainly that of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Khaled Cheema

      I actually learned something there. Or as much as my education will allow, that is.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Matt

      what other tactics besides visual do you think he used?

      Reply to Comment