Netanyahu defends controversial bomb graphic

While some critics skewer the PM for his “Looney Tunes” bomb graphic, Netanyahu says his goal of drawing attention to Iran.

Netanyahu bomb picture 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
Netanyahu bomb picture 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
While some bloggers and critics skewered Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his “Looney Tunes” bomb graphic at the UN on Thursday, Netanyahu said over the weekend his goal was achieved: to get the world talking about red lines for Iran.
Netanyahu, in interviews from New York with Israeli television networks, said his objective was to translate the principle of setting red lines on Iran into simple, practical terms. “This is resonating today around the world,” he said.
“Hundreds of millions of people saw it and understand now what they perhaps did not understand beforehand – what it means to stop Iran, at what phase and what stage of its nuclearization. The red line needs to be before Iran finishes the second stage of enriching the material it needs for an atomic bomb.”
The prime minister deflected charges that the use of the graphic was a gimmick, saying instead that it was an effective way to convey a message. The image of Netanyahu drawing a line with his red pen on the graphic of the bomb was the front page picture Friday in most of the major newspapers in the world.
It is always a difficult challenge, Netanyahu said, to take complicated ideas and make them simple. “You need to invest a lot of thought in that, and I did. I see that people are talking about this. They took it in the digital world and the Internet and turned it into a tool to increase and amplify discussion on the topic – and the more they are talking about this, the better it is for Israel.”
Netanyahu said his job as prime minister is to focus the world’s attention on Iran’s nuclear efforts. “I think that what I did serves that purpose,” he said.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who told reporters on his plane that he spoke to Netanyahu following his UN speech, joked about the graphic.
“I complimented him on his address at the UN,” Romney said. “I suggested that his graphic was not up to the normal Boston Consulting Group Standards. No, I didn’t actually do that, but I was thinking about it.” The two men worked together briefly at the Boston Consulting Group in the late 1970s.