Biden shakes fingers with former Israeli PM, begins ‘no handshake’ coverage simply earlier than Saudi assembly

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President Biden appeared to shortly drop his “no handshake” coverage throughout his Center East tour, main some to take a position that the White Home adopted the coverage merely to keep away from a politically uncomfortable encounter later within the journey. 

White Home Nationwide Safety Adviser Jake Sullivan introduced Wednesday that the president would keep away from shaking fingers in the course of the four-day journey out of an abundance of warning as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. The president appeared to abide by the coverage when he arrived in Israel, greeting Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and different officers with fist bumps. 

However not lengthy after that Biden shook fingers with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – all whereas not carrying a facemask or taking COVID-19 precautions of any sort. 

Biden visited Madrid in June to attend a G7 convention throughout a time when the town’s COVID-19 instances had reached a rolling 7-day common of over 2,000 new instances. Throughout that point, Biden had no drawback shaking fingers and getting shut and private with a spread of leaders from throughout the globe, together with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – a person who has been condemned for his nation’s crackdown on human rights activists, in addition to clamping down on press freedom, and the arrest and harassment of journalists.

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The handshake with Netanyahu has led some to consider that the White Home coverage has nothing to do with COVID-19 and every part to do with avoiding a foul press second with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. The White Home and State Division didn’t reply to requests for remark or clarification. 

President Joe Biden shakes hands with former Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu despite a White House advisory that the president would avoid handshakes due to COVID-19 concerns. 

President Joe Biden shakes fingers with former Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu regardless of a White Home advisory that the president would keep away from handshakes as a consequence of COVID-19 issues. 
(Gideon Marcowicz/TPS)

Biden will fly to Jeddah and meet with King Salman and the Crown Prince on Friday, based on the New York Occasions. The obvious flip-flop on his handshake coverage will solely heighten consideration to how the world leaders will greet one another. 

The White Home this week insisted that the journey aimed to “advance American interests,” denying that the president had gone to the Center East to push leaders in OPEC to extend oil manufacturing because the world continues to face a gas disaster. 

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“I’m saying it’s not, it’s not, it’s not the focus,” White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre mentioned Monday, including that it’s “not… on the agenda.”

“That’s something for OPEC to decide, clearly. Saudi Arabia chairs that, and so, we just want to be very clear on that,” she added.

Biden has already confronted unimaginable scrutiny over his go to to Saudi Arabia, with the Washington Put up on Monday publishing an op-ed by Washington Put up writer and CEO Fred Ryan wherein he mentioned the president’s journey “erodes our moral authority.” 

“When, seeking votes, Biden vowed to make Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a ‘pariah’ for his role in murdering Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the world had every reason to think he meant it,” Ryan wrote in an op-ed on Monday. “So why is President Biden now going to Jiddah on bended knee to shake the ‘pariah’s’ bloodstained hand? Once again, he is seeking votes,” Ryan wrote.

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Khashoggi, a contributor for the Washington Put up, was killed in 2018 by Saudi safety officers. Paperwork declassified in Feb. 2021 made clear that the U.S. authorities blamed the crown prince for the killing. 

“We base this assessment on the crown prince’s control of decision-making in the Kingdom, the direct involvement of a key adviser and members of Mohammed bin Salman’s protective detail in the operation, and the crown prince’s support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad, including Khashoggi,” the report from the Workplace of the Director of Nationwide Intelligence (DNI) mentioned.

Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia throughout his first international journey as president and didn’t bitter to the Arab nation. Democrats took Trump to process for not taking the killing extra significantly.

Each day Put up’ Brooke Singman, Timothy Nezrozzi, Greg Norman and Hanna Panreck contributed to this report. 

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