The first Netanyahu-Abbas handshake in five years got photobombed
President Ikililou Dhoinine of Comoros’ head blocked the momentous handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for the first time in five years. (AFP/Pool/Martin Bureau)
During the past two months, almost daily attacks in Israel/Palestine have killed 19 Israelis and at least 92 Palestinians, according to the Daily Mail. The violence set the stage for a pretty tense and kind of awkward handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for the first time in five years on Monday at the opening of the UN World Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris.
Per usual, something got in the way of any sort of progress toward peace—but this time it was President Ikililou Dhoinine of Comoros’ head. It was a perfect presidential photobomb from a leader whose his island nation lies out in the Indian Ocean.
Netanyahu insisted that the handshake didn’t indicate resolve and was “purely protocol” in the “family picture” with 151 of the world’s leaders at the opening of the Conference. So much for the symbolic power of a handshake, says the Atlantic.
April 2014 marked the collapse of US-mediated peace talks, after nine months of both sides digging their heels even deeper. On Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry tried make magic happen, but to no avail. He then vowed to continue pressing both leaders on the issue in the coming weeks.
Netanyahu's feeling pretty fussy at the moment with 28-nation bloc’s Nov 11 decision to label goods imported from Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights. So it doesn’t look like he'll be budging anytime soon.
The office of the PM announced on Sunday they’re suspending discussions of the conflict with the Palestinians and EU institutions until they reassess the bloc’s role in the peace process. But of course, they said they’ll continue business as usual with national officials of individual European member states.
The Jewish Press put it eloquently: “The meeting was more like two ships passing in the night but brushing along each other’s sides by accident.”
Take a look at the more scathing reviews on Twitter:
What a traitor. Palestinians being murdered on daily basis by IDF while Abbas shakes hands w/war criminal Netanyahu https://t.co/TcRRhtSYVe— susi hoy (@palestininianpr) December 1, 2015
@TimesofIsrael it was disgusting for Netanyahu to shake that murderers hand.— s (@allgood131) November 30, 2015
By Elizabeth Tarbell