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Handshakes that shook the world

Saturday 03-06-2017 - 09:02 PM
Mona Abdel-Ghani
Handshakes that shook
Throughout history, the handshake has sealed thousands and more thousands of deals, and supposedly cease-fires, peace treaties, and the likes.
Unlike a bow, the handshake means that the parties involved are on equal footing, and are comfortable enough in each other’s presence.
Some of the most famous handshakes include the following:

Harry Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin (July 25, 1945)

The trio handshake came just weeks after the end of WWII, with the surrender of Nazi Germany. The three allies met at Potsdam, Germany to discuss post war plans for Europe. Despite the smiles, and somewhat awkward 3-way handshake, tensions were high with suspicion on what Russia was planning for East and Central Europe. 

Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin (March 26, 1979)

Anwar Sadat and Menachem
The White House lawn has been witness to some of the most important handshakes in history.
This handshake between the enemies was seen to be the highlight of American President, Jimmy Carter’s terms as president, who brokered the signing ceremony of the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty on the South Lawn of the White House. Carter also played a key role in the Camp David Accords of the same year, which led to this treaty. Egypt had become the first Arab state to recognize the Israeli state.

Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin (September 13, 1993)

Yasser Arafat and
More from the White House Lawn
Late Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat and late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin were at the White House lawn to sign the Oslo Accord. This was the first face-to-face agreement between Israel and the PLO. Former president, Bill Clinton was standing in the middle and had to coax both of them for this handshake. Not surprisingly, the Oslo Accord became an Oslo ‘discord’, as new fighting broke out between Israel and Palestine, after Clinton had left office. 

Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy (July 24, 1963)

Bill Clinton and
The handshake between the future president of the United States and the then President, John F. Kennedy, was in the Rose Garden of the White House. At the time, Clinton was 16 years old and meeting Kennedy and the handshake between them is what inspired Clinton into politics. 

The 19 second Donald Trump handshake

The 19 second Donald
One cannot end a story without mentioning President Trump’s 19 second handshake with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, one of the first dignitaries to visit the White House after Trump’s election. The awkward handshake seemed to go on forever.  Needless to say, social media users had a blast commenting on the handshake, with such tweets as: ‘We are all Shinzo Abe’.
People around the world hope to see the day where a handshake between political leaders can actually mean something and do something in bringing more peace worldwide. 

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