Why Did Abdullah's Swords Point to Netanyahu?

A photo of Netanyahu's three-way meeting in Jordan may have carried a subliminal threatening message.

Gil Ronen ,

Beheading Bibi?
Beheading Bibi?

A photo of Thursday's three-way meeting in Jordan between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Jordan's King Abdullah and US diplomat John Kerry may have carried a subliminal message threatening Netanyahu.

The photographer was positioned in a way that placed Netanyahu's head squarely at the tip of several long ornamental swords that hang in the king's palace – with the curved swords apparently aimed at him from both sides. Netanyahu's appears to be leaning down slightly in a pensive way. 

The full photo Reuters

It is a matter of conjecture, whether the photographer was aware of the subliminal message conveyed by the swords or whether the matter is pure coincidence. It is not improbable that the palace photographers are well acquainted with the geography of the rooms and that such placement was done on purpose, however. Doubtless, if the situation had been reversed, with the king's head placed at the tip of several swords, there would have been a firestorm of protest, and commentators would have noted that beheading by sword has become common practice in today's chaotic Middle East.

The photo was carried by news agencies including AFP and Reuters and may have been a "pool" photograph submitted to all news agencies by the sole photographer allowed into the room. 

The meeting was held at a time of great tension between Jordan and Israel regarding the insistence by some Jews to pray at the Temple Mount, the Jewish nation's holiest location. Muslims are adamant that Jews may not pray at the site, and have responded with violence to attempts to allow the prayer, which they claim is a violation of the status quo agreed after Israel liberated the Mount in 1967.

Temple activist Yehuda Glick was shot by a would-be assassin two weeks ago, by a terrorist who opposes Jewish prayer on the Mount. Netanyahu has said he will not allow a change in the status quo and that Jews will not be allowed to rpay on the Mount. The Mount was opened to Muslims of all ages on Friday although anti-Jewish violence in Jerusalem has not come to a halt. 

Nationalist Jews see this decision as an ignominious surrender to Muslim terrorism.

In 2008, a White House photograph of U.S. President Barack Obama with his feet on his desk while speaking on the phone with Binyamin Netanyahu turned into a news story in own right, with reporters in Israel and elsewhere speculating that it was meant to send a message of disrespect.

In 2010, Israel's then-deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon purposely staged a photo-op in which the Turkish ambassador sat on a low chair, to make him appear humiliated. The ploy was revealed by an Israel camera team and cause da crisis in Israeli-Turkish relations.