As Paris reels from the dual acts of terrorism that rocked the city last week, leaders from around the globe converged on the French capital to show their support for the victims of the attacks: The staff of the Charlie Hebdo satyrical newspaper, and Jews at a local kosher supermarket who were targeted simply for being Jewish.
Heads of state from across Europe and beyond, including Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, lined up to march through the Parisian streets in solidarity with the millions (estimates range from 1-4) of ordinarily French citizens who stood up and declared “Je Suis Charlie,” “Je Suis Juif,” and “Je Suis Ahmed.” The result was an overwhelming demonstration of resolve in the face of terrorism, in which – for a brief, shining moment – global leaders were seemingly able to put aside petty differences and take a stand for the freedoms many of us so often take for granted.
Still, though, no event, no matter how somber, with that many presidents and prime ministers is an entirely frictionless affair. And while pictures like this:
…offer powerful imagery, and a show of strength against the evils of terrorism, there’s always more going on before and after the camera goes “click”
Here, then, are three brief observations about Bibi Netanyahu’s march through the streets of Paris:
1) He totally shoved his way to the front of the line.
I know in Israel the concept of a “line” can be a little tricky (don’t believe me, try patiently waiting your turn to buy something at the shuk, and see how that goes…) but there’s something pretty funny about watching a Prime Minister push and shove his way past other notables, just to get to at the front of the line. (He was, evidently, not the only one)
2) He cropped Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas out of his official Prime Minister Tweet:
Look at this rousing and inspirational message from Bibi’s official twitter feed. Notice anyone missing? Our pal Shmarya over at Failed Messiah did.
I marched in one row with world leaders in order to unite against terrorism. Any terrorism must be fought to the end pic.twitter.com/X5oFg5r3cB
— בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) January 11, 2015
Take a look at this other picture from the march. That’s Bibi on the left and P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas on the right. At most they’re about twenty feet apart, give or take. Now here’s Bibi’s picture: All that’s left of Mahmoud in Bibi’s shot is a little bit of ear.
3) The entire thing was just a big photo-op, anyways.
…What? You didn’t really think world leaders would actually stand shoulder to shoulder with ordinary Joes (well, “Jacques”) like you and me, did you?