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Netanyahu’s Cartoon Bomb is a photoshop meme based on an exploitable image of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu holding up a diagram of a cartoonish bomb during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2012.
On September 27th, 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu produced a cartoon image of a bomb while addressing the General Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, New York. During the speech, Netanyahu presented a diagram to illustrate the perceived threat of Iran’s contentious nuclear program and his intention to shut it down before it became capable of manufacturing nuclear warheads. The presentation soon led to its most memorable moment when he drew a thick red line across the diagram to indicate the time frame of a potential military strike against Iran.
Netanyahu’s use of the prop and the red marker was near instantly met by criticisms on Twitter, where many people began poking fun at his overly simplistic explanation of a highly complex issue, though others defended the prime minister’s effort as simply effective. Within minutes of his address., tweets mentioning “Netanyahu” topped more than 17,000 mentions, according to Al Jazeera’s coverage of the online reaction. Many others also pointed out the resemblance between the cartoon drawing of a bomb depicted in Netanyahu’s diagram and the one used in the classic Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons.
Netanyahu’s bomb cartoon is the Middle East equivalent of Clint Eastwood’s chair.— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) September 27, 2012
I thought somebody had photoshopped that crude drawing into Netanyahu’s UN presentation. But no he actually used a cartoon of a ticking bomb
— Edward Burke (@Edward__Burke) September 27, 2012
Poking fun at #Netanyahu’s cartoon bomb is all well and good, but guess what: He got your attention. And that, it seems, was the idea.
— Avi Mayer (@avimayer) September 27, 2012
Meanwhile on 4chan, a thread linking to the live cast of the Israeli prime minister’s speech was posted on the /pol/ (politics) board, where an anonymous user replied with a screenshot of Netanyahu holding up the visual aid.
News Media Coverage
The influx of photoshopped parodies and tweets relating to Netanyahu’s diagram was subsequently picked up by various English and Hebrew news sites and blogs, from Forbes, Wall Street Journal and New York TImes to 972 Magazine, Haaretz and Israel Hayom among others.
New York Times – Nod to Obama by Netanyahu in Warning to Iran on Bomb
972 Magazine – Bibi’s ACME bomb at UNGA inspires Israeli meme artists