Netanyahu Becomes Israel’s Forrest Gump on the Internet

The image of PM Benjamin Netanyahu smiling as Gilad Shalit embraces his father after his release from captivity has become a Facebook hit, with the PM's image added to key moments in Israel's history.

Israelis were glued to their TV screens with tears in their eyes on Tuesday as they saw abducted soldier Gilad Shalit freed for the first time after five and a half years in captivity in Gaza. 

However, despite the excitement and emotion that took over the nation, one photograph of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu watching Gilad Shalit and his father, Noam, embrace has inspired a wave of cynicism and photoshopped images that have flooded Facebook.

The figure of the smiling Prime Minister has turned into a kind of “Forrest Gump,” that has been cut from the image and pasted into photographs of key moments in Israel's history. These include Maccabi Tel Aviv’s 1977 European Cup win, the signing of Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948 and the signing of the peace treaty with Egypt in 1979. 
 

Benjamin Netanyahu looking on as Noam and Gilad Shalit embrace following Gilad's release, Oct. 18, 2011.IDF Spokesman's Office