During his speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did something unusual: He stood in complete silence for 44 seconds.
That silence was designed, Netanyahu implied, to show how much of the world had been responded with "utter" and "deafening" silence when while "Iran pledged to murder" Israeli citizens. During those 44 seconds, the Israeli prime minister glared at the audience.
To supporters of Israel and many others, it was a remarkably powerful moment, showing how the world was ignoring the risks posed by a nuclear deal with Iran. To critics of the sometimes divisive Netanyahu, it was laughable.
Online, a variety of mocking versions of the speech have begun to circulate. One YouTube user uploaded a video of the silence, with the interlude filled with "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel.
Another added the theme music from the Larry David sitcom "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
A song by Major Lazer, "Pun de floor," also filled the silence.
And there were plenty of other suggestions.
— Ron Kampeas (@kampeas) October 1, 2015
Netanyahu's fiery speeches have become something of a tradition at the United Nations. Often, these speeches have involved "props" to designed to lend a rhetorical heft – in 2012, for example, the Israeli leader brought a diagram of a bomb on stage, a move which also prompted online ridicule. Last year, Netanyahu brought photographs that he said showed children playing near a rocket launcher operated by the Palestinian group Hamas.
Following weighty references to the Holocaust and Iran's threats against Israel, Netanyahu's silence had been intended to hammer home a point. However, judging from the response, much of the online audience has already accepted the Iran deal and moved on.
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