Unfortunate Mustache Shadow Helps Photo of Merkel, Netanyahu Go Viral

Unfortunate press conference moment caught on camera

By Kyli Singh
|  Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014  |  Updated 7:42 PM PDT
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Bibi-Merkel Mustache Shadow Photo Goes Viral

AFP/Getty Images

In this video-grab, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu points across the stage, casting a "Hitler mustache" shadow across German Chancellor Angela Merkel's face. This was taken during a joint press conference at the King David hotel in Jerusalem on Feb. 25.

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A candid photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel went viral Tuesday, with online observers buzzing about the appearance of a Hitler-like mustache on the German leader's face.

The image of the two leaders at a news conference, taken Tuesday morning by Jerusalem Post photographer Marc Israel Sellem, showed Netanyahu pointing his finger — and inadvertently casting a shadow on Merkel's face that many said resembled the Nazi leader's signature mustache.

"At the end when I saw Netanyahu begin to point, I thought it would be interesting so I just started shooting, something like seven pictures a second," Sellem told the Jerusalem Post.

Sellem said he was just as surprised as everyone else when he first saw the image on his computer. He said he included it in an e-mail to the editors of the Jerusalem Post and its sister publication, the Israel Post.

Initially, the Jerusalem Post decided to not run the photo, but after an editor at the Israel Post published it to their Facebook page, it was shared more than 1,000 times in the first few minutes, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Shortly after, Sellem and The Jerusalem Post were flooded with inquiries from media outlets asking if the photo were retouched (it wasn't, they reported) and for permission to reprint it.

The photo was taken as Merkel spoke at a joint press conference with Netanyahu in Jerusalem Tuesday, as the two met to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process ahead of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's planned peace talks framework slated for April.

In Jerusalem, Merkel said that she does not endorse boycotts of Israel. She said that although Germany sees Iran as a potential threat to Israel and Europe, she could not support Netanyahu's demand that Tehran give up all sensitive nuclear projects under any negotiated deal.

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