Monday, October 1, 2012

Netanyahu's Clear Red Line Reinterpreted

UN Photo/J Carrier
Oct. 1, 2012 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held up a cartoonish drawing of a bomb last Thursday during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly.  

He was making a point: Iran's nuclear program is dangerously close to being capable of producing a nuclear weapon.

‘How much enriched uranium do you need for a bomb? And how close is Iran to getting it?’’ Netanyahu asked rhetorically. ‘‘Well, let me show you. I brought a diagram.’’

Netanyahu held up the drawing of a bomb with a lit fuse, and with a red marker he drew a "clear red line" through the bomb to indicate "the threshold that Iran was approaching and that Israel could not tolerate — 90 percent of the way," reported The Associated Press, "to the uranium enrichment needed to make a nuclear weapon."

Another interpretation, by Chicago News Bench
Chicago News Bench's own interpretation of Netanyahu's cartoon bomb is pictured below. We replaced the original bomb with the Danish cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.

Why? Actually, we meant no disrespect to non-violent Muslims by that. What we did mean is that, although he did not say it, Netanyahu and his advisors undoubtedly know that the Iranian bomb is an Islamic bomb.

Netanyahu is not simply up against the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon - he is trying to ward of the threat of an Islamic nuclear weapon. By that we simply mean that Iran, by way its nutjob President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has publicly and repeatedly said that the Jewish nation of Israel must be "eliminated." The reasons for that, as given by Ahmadinejad or his Iranian colleagues, is always based in their interpretation of Islam.

"Note that word—'eliminated'," wrote The Wall Street Journal on Sept. 25. "When Iranians talk about Israel, this intention of a final solution keeps coming up. In October 2005, Mr. Ahmadinejad, quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini, said Israel 'must be wiped off the map.' Lest anyone miss the point, the Iranian President said in June 2008 that Israel "has reached the end of its function and will soon disappear off the geographical domain."

Some are calling it "The Bibi Bomb" or "Bibi's Bomb" after Netanyahu's nickname. It has its own hashtag on Twitter, too: #bibibomb.

Whether or not the presentation was effective is a subject of much debate.

I'd say it was very effective, if only because it caused a lot of people to discuss the matter who might not have without the stunt.

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon felt the same way . He told Israel’s Channel 2 TV that the resulting jokes about the cartoon bomb ‘‘are maybe part of the success because it was an unforgettable speech that delivered its message,’’ and, ‘‘Today everyone is talking about it.’’