A picture is worth 1,000 words: Under the influence in Israel

The optics of presidential press conferences are important — whether you’re speaking in front of wreckage following a natural disaster or before a Joint Session of Congress. That’s why it’s interesting and noteworthy that President Obama’s crew chose this location for a news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:

(REUTERS/Larry Downing)

Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft reminds us of how the White House insisted on covering prominent Christian symbols for a 2009 speech at Georgetown University, but had no problem holding a press conference under a giant Yasser Arafat banner.

“Hope everyone saw presser. If not there, it was notable that Obama and Abbas spoke from under a banner bearing pictures of Arafat and Abbas. Also another big banner was hanging on wall nearby with Abbas kind of superimposed on Arafat,” the White House pool report noted.

(Image: Newscom)

The Weekly Standard’s Daniel Harper adds more context:

Arafat, as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting has noted, “is known to many as the “father of modern terrorism.” Below is a timeline of some of the key events of his life and terrorist acts with which he was associated.”

CAMERA notes, “In fact, groups under Arafat’s direct or indirect command – including Fatah, Black September, Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade – were responsible for hundreds of bombings, hijackings, assassinations and other attacks, including the 1972 murder of 11 of Israel’s Olympic athletes in Munich, the 1973 murder of the American ambassador to Sudan, Cleo Noel, and the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruiseship (resulting in the murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer).”

The questionable set-up also raised some eyebrows on Twitter: