The Washington Post

Benjamin Netanyahu metaphors: Time to start calling ‘a duck a duck’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks up as he meets with Senate leaders at the U.S. Capitol in Washington Tuesday. (KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

“Ladies and gentleman, if it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, then what is it? ... That’s right, it’s a duck! But this duck is a nuclear duck. It’s time the world started calling a duck a duck.”

The statement was greeted with raucous applause.

After the jump, we’ve rounded up some other metaphors, references and allusions Bibi has used over the years:

Referencing the Bible:

“As far as a nuclear weapons-free zone, you know, when the lion lies down with the lamb, and you don't need a new lamb every day to satisfy the lion, then we might have this kind of transformation in the Middle East.”

July 2010, to express he was not happy with the idea of participating in a U.N. conference on a nuclear-free Middle East.

A metaphorical jungle:

"...set free like savage animals, set free to prowl in our cities and our streets."’

July 1997, in reference to attacks by suicide bombers on a Jerusalem vegetable market, and to tell Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to take stronger action against terrorists.

Referencing absurdist fiction of the 1960s:

“It's the - the theater of the absurd. It doesn't only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gaddafi's Libya chaired the UN Commission on Human Rights; Saddam's Iraq headed the UN Committee on Disarmament.”

Sept. 2011, in a description of the United Nations, which he said had an anti-Israeli fixation.

A metaphorical suicide:

“We don't point a pistol at our own forehead. That is not the way to conduct negotiations.”

June 1998, in an interview with Army Radio,  to say he wouldn’t be rushed on a West Bank troop withdrawal.

A metaphorical family:

“These are disagreements around the dinner table in a family.”

May 1998, to describe tension between the U.S. and Israel, and argue that the relationship was still positive.

Watch Netanyahu deliver his most recent duck metaphor, a reference to the “Turing duck test,” a term for a form of inductive reasoning, below:


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