US President Joe Biden appeared to make a cross symbol with his hand during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today (Wednesday).
Biden touched his forehead, stomach, and the left and right sides of his chest with his right hand right as Netanyahu began speaking.
Making a cross sign with one's hand as a form of prayer or thanks to the Christian god is common in several Christian denominations. President Biden is Roman Catholic.
The White House did not respond to requests for comments on the apparent gesture.
Following the meeting, the Biden Administration confirmed that Prime Minister Netanyahu would be invited to the White House before the end of the year for another meeting with President Biden.
Biden said during the meeting: “Seventy-five years ago, the first Israeli prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, after declaring independence, used a phrase that I’ve quoted very often. He said that the world stands with Israel so that the dream of generations will be fulfilled. Together, Israel and the United States have been working together to make that dream a reality for a long time."
“You’ve heard me say, many times, if there were no Israel we’d have to invent one," he added. “I think without Israel, there’s not a Jew in the world that’s secure. I think Israel is essential."
Addressing the US-Israel alliance, he said: “Today, we’re going to discuss some of the hard issues. That is, upholding democratic values that lie at the heart of our partnership, including checks and balances in our systems, and preserving the path to a negotiated two-state solution, and ensuring that Iran never, never, acquires a nuclear weapon. Because even where we have some differences, my commitment to Israel, as you know, is ironclad."
Netanyahu told Biden, "I think that under your leadership, Mr. President, we can forge a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and I think such a peace would go a long way, first, to advance the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict, achieve reconciliation between the Islamic world and the Jewish state, and advance a genuine peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is something within our reach."
“I believe that working together we can make history and create a better future for the region and beyond. And also, by working together, we can confront those forces that threaten that future — none more so than Iran.
“I appreciate, Mr. President, your continuous commitment to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. I think that’s critical. And that shared goal of ours can be best achieved by a credible military threat, crippling sanctions and supporting the brave men and women of Iran who despise that regime and who are our real partners for a better future," Netanyahu said.