President Joe Biden greeted the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, with a warm, seemingly endless embrace yesterday, followed by a hushed, "Where am I?"
The incident, which took place in Tel Aviv, Israel has sparked a series of memes, tweets, and the sort of satirical commentary that Saturday Night Live writers live for.
Witnesses report that upon President Biden's arrival he not only broke the six-foot social distancing rule that he passionately advocated for but also seemed to have broken the record for the longest presidential hug—previously held by none other than himself.
"It was a magical moment," commented an aide who chose to remain anonymous. "The kind of hug that says, 'I might not know where we are, but we're in this unknown place together.'"
Sources close to the situation reported that the Israeli Prime Minister, slightly confused but ever the diplomat, reciprocated the hug while gently reminding President Biden that they were, in fact, in Israel. To which Biden responded with a jolly chuckle and a comment about the place lacking the distinctive smell of his favorite Delaware sub shop.
Political analysts have debated the strategic implications of this hug, wondering whether it's a new diplomatic strategy on the part of the Biden administration.
"Is he planning to embrace all world issues like this?" asked one pundit. "Because if so, we're anticipating a series of very long meetings and perhaps some back issues for world leaders."
The White House was quick to issue a statement noting that President Biden was merely joking and that he's always known where he is, every moment of every day, ever. The statement also highlighted Biden's long-standing commitment to strengthening relationships with allies, sometimes one hug at a time.
As for the international community, they seem to be taking it all in stride. The Kremlin has announced that Vladimir Putin is ready for any form of greeting but has been studying judo throws, just in case. Meanwhile, the British Prime Minister has ordered a study on the "diplomatic efficacy of sustained physical contact."
In related news, sales of "Where am I?" t-shirts, accompanied by a smiling image of President Biden, have skyrocketed on popular online shopping sites, proving that in the world of politics, there's nothing quite as universal as a sense of humor—or a good, disorienting hug.