Israel – After His Use of a Cheesy “Bomb” Graphic, He Came Off More Like a Netan-Yahoo – 28 September 2012

Exactly how is the world going to respond to a very real threat from a nuclear Iran if the people mobilising them against this threat do so by drawing and colouring pictures of a Boris Badenov cartoon bomb? At a time when such a serious prospect as posed by the nuclear arming of a Holocaust-denying state run by religious extremists is being discussed, it is highly disturbing that Israel is being led by someone whose contribution to debate involves cheesy props and patronising assessments concerning the lack of intelligence of his audience.

Of course, my main question is why Netanyahu even bothered to prepare this speech. It’s not like a lot of people at the UN even pretend to listen to Israel about much of anything. Isn’t this really for domestic political consumption in Israel? “Here’s the prime minister openly lecturing a General Assembly filled with Israel’s enemies”, this will read in the hometown newspapers. But who at the UN is being convinced by this?

A real speech which is intended to _convince_ people of the justice of one’s cause doesn’t contain a ridiculous junior high school graphic like this. Can you imagine Netanyahu bringing this prop chart to a meeting of NATO? No, because if Netanyahu addressed NATO, the point would be to make a serious argument before serious people about a serious problem. That was pretty obviously not Netanyahu’s intention here. The idea was pretty clearly to wag his finger at a group of people not well-disposed to Israel, and who are not held in high regard by Israel, about how Israel is going to do what it wants without any of their input on the matter.

But there’s a difference between Israel properly being willing to go against world public opinion when the world has done little to show that it values or is willing to protect Israelis, and going out of one’s way to stick one’s finger in the eye of the world. Netanyahu has done the latter here. It’s not helpful, and it does nothing to mobilise the world about the continuing and very real threat of a nuclear Iran.

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