Benjamin Netanyahu: Master of show-and-tell

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (really) likes using visual aids.

In laying out the perennial threat of an ever-imminent, terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Iranian nuclear bomb that will set the stage for a second Holocaust with the deftness and finesse of a third-grade show-and-tell artist, Netanyahu has brought to the podium Xeroxed copies of old letters, meeting minutes and, now, a dazzlingly crude drawing of a cartoon bomb to illustrate this fearsome inevitability.

If we’re lucky, perhaps he’ll bring a geode to Herzliya next year.

Here’s a quick look at years past:

United Nations General Assembly, 2009
NETANYAHU: Last month, I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee. There, on January 20, 1942, after a hearty meal, senior Nazi officials met and decided how to exterminate the Jewish people. The detailed minutes of that meeting have been preserved by successive German governments. Here is a copy of those minutes, in which the Nazis issued precise instructions on how to carry out the extermination of the Jews. Is this a lie?

United Nations General Assembly, 2009

NETANYAHU: A day before I was in Wannsee, I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Those plans are signed by Hitler’s deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself. Here is a copy of the plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were murdered. Is this too a lie?

AIPAC Conference, 2012

NETANYAHU: Some commentators would have you believe that stopping Iran from getting the bomb is more dangerous than letting Iran have the bomb. They say that a military confrontation with Iran would undermine the efforts already underway; that it would be ineffective; and that it would provoke an even more vindictive response by Iran. I’ve heard these arguments before. In fact, I’ve read them before – In my desk, I have copies of an exchange of letters between the World Jewish Congress and the United States War Department.  Here are the letters.

United Nations General Assembly, 2012

NETANYAHU: In fact, the only way that you can credibly prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, is to prevent Iran from amassing enough enriched uranium for a bomb.  So, how much enriched uranium do you need for a bomb and how close is Iran to getting it?  Well, let me show you. I brought a diagram for you.  Here’s the diagram.  This is a bomb.  This is a fuse.


About Nima Shirazi

Nima Shirazi is co-editor of the Iran, Iraq and Turkey pages for the online magazine Muftah. His political analysis can be found on his blog,, where this post first appeared. Follow him on Twitter @WideAsleepNima.
Posted in Iran, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government

{ 5 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. pipistro says:

    Netanyahu’s rambling speech should hold him accountable and take him on trial under International Law. Conspiracy against the peace and incitement to wage a war of aggression would be the first criminal charges in a brand new Nuremberg. His blatant illness doesn’t justify his attitude, insofar as it couldn’t apologize the stance of a lot of irresponsible idiots among the Nazis. (I’m sorry for the “Reductio ad Hitlerum”, but he did it first.)

  2. Kathleen says:

    There is no hard evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program or capability. When there is no hard evidence Netanyahu has to bring in the weak and silly props

  3. radii says:

    Maybe after he falls from power and no longer has diplomatic immunity and the US arrests him for espionage in the 80s when he helped steal US nuclear triggers – an action against israel’s greatest benefactor – he will be put on trial and in his testimony he can hold up diagrams and notes about how he helped perpetrate that crime

  4. piotr says:

    My favorite visual ad was at demonstrations in India against blasphemous bathing suits exhibited at an Australian fashion show (with the likeness of goddess Lakshmi, consort of Vishnu). Some demonstrators carried the photos of that atrocity. link to

    Unfortunately, the young designer was truly mortified by the protests, she just wanted to be “multi-cultural”, the production and sales were immediately canceled, so we did not see President of India complaining in UN. With visual aids.

  5. Blake says:

    I’m really concerned about him having the bomb !