The fist bump has been the default method of person-to-person contact in the COVID era. Shaking hands is too intimate and bumping elbows is too awkward. But the brief collision of fists has been deemed just about right to avoid the risks of both mutual contamination and mutual embarrassment.
Perhaps Joe Biden’s advisors thought that a fist bump between the president and Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) would also somehow avoid the appearance of contamination and embarrassment, in this case of the political variety. Certainly, they were worried about the near-radioactivity of MbS. The crown prince is responsible for the murder of a Washington Post journalist, the ongoing war in Yemen, and innumerable human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. Indeed, on the campaign trail, Biden had promised to turn the Saudi autocrat into a veritable “pariah.”
Shaking hands with such a devil seemed inconceivable for a president determined to distance himself from the callous disregard for human rights of his predecessor. But perhaps a fist bump…?
Biden reports that he challenged MbS by bringing up the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and other human rights concerns. But the president didn’t travel all the way to Saudi Arabia to lecture the crown prince. He …read more
Source:: Institute for Policy Studies