Iconic Images Emerge from Mideast Summits

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and President George Bush i i

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (left), and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (right) shake hands as U.S. President George W. Bush stands by at the opening session of the Mideast conference in Annapolis, Md., Nov. 27, 2007. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and President George Bush

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (left), and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (right) shake hands as U.S. President George W. Bush stands by at the opening session of the Mideast conference in Annapolis, Md., Nov. 27, 2007.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Skeptics of efforts at Middle East peace sometimes deride summits — such as the one happening Tuesday in Annapolis — as simply photo opportunities. Although real work is getting done, there is always a moment when the various leaders pose for the camera, resulting in some famous shots.

An image from Annapolis on Tuesday features Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, clasping hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Behind them, in between, is President Bush — his arms outstretched.

It looks strikingly similar to an iconic photo taken on the White House lawn in 1993. The players then — President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat — were there to sign the Oslo accords.

Ron Edmonds, senior White House photographer for the Associated Press, took the 1993 photo. He says that all presidents "try to be peacemakers."

Edmonds talks to Melissa Block about the stories behind some of the pictures from Middle East summits, the challenges of capturing those moments in time, why many of the best photos take place after an event has finished, and how presidents try to cultivate an image through photos.

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