With Iran's nuclear capabilities escalating to an all-time high, it appears Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has built his very own bomb in retaliation. Except his explosive was not of the world-annihilation kind. Idenitifed as the "Bibi Bomb," named after the PM's nickname "Bibi," his high-octane ammunition came in the form of a cartoonish drawing to illustrate what is perceived as Iran's probability to create an atomic weapon. Used as a prop at the UN General Assembly this past week, it was seen as Israel's first preemptive salvo launched at its number-one enemy, Iran.
During his speech, the Israeli Prime Minister noted the Iranian regime had already completed the first stage of their nuclear bomb. And now that the regime is moving forward, Netanyahu urged the UN members to draw a red line before the Iranians complete the second stage of their program.
The Jerusalem Post reported that it definitely "raised a titter on Twitter" after "the New Yorker magazine quipped, 'if Wile E. Coyote ever gets hold of this, the Road Runner is toast.'" The magazine's correspondent Robert Mankoff saw this as a prime editorial opportunity to create a "caption" contest for its readers to submit additional captions for the Bibi Bomb!
With the meme hashtag "#BibiBombCaption," Mankoff also took liberties in indicating that Netanyahu was actually in on the gag, and helped select the top 3 winners of the contest.
So is this perhaps Bibi's next career - Secretary of Editorial Cartoons? Ha-aretz' cartoonist Amos Biderman had mixed feelings on the possibility. "It turns out he's a frustrated illustrator," he mused. Initially he believed the Israeli leader’s speech looked like amateur hour. "Not just the drawing seemed infantile, but standing there in front of the UN General Assembly and pulling out a graph like some 6th-grade teacher seemed very childish,” the cartoonist said.
“But after I digested it, I actually think it worked superbly," he concluded. "He got his message across concisely and in a way that stays in your mind. As marketing, it worked," he added.
Within hours of Bibi's speech on September 27th, the stunt was fodder for talk-show hosts. On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart mocked Netanyahu's simplistic drawing by saying: "Bibi, bubbe, what's with the Wile E. Coyote nuclear bomb?" Stewart then presented his solution to counter such a weapon by holding up a drawing of an equally cartoonish giant magnet.
Editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson for the Houston Chronicle also lampooned the Prime Minister in one his cartoons. In an effort to depict the lengths Bibi will go to show America they need to do more to help thwart the Iranian threat -- Bibi is seen here coercing Romney with a quid-pro-quo offer.
At the end of the day, the Prime Minister accomplished what he set out to do. His show-and-tell artwork went viral and garnered heightened global attention for himself and his ongoing plight to obtain a buy-in from other nations. The New Yorker's tweet probably summed up Bibi's day work best when they aptly labeled him "the bomb!" Just don't spread the word to Wile E. Coyote (or Road Runner for that matter) - who knows what additional international turmoil they could stir up at the Acme Corporation!