Mar. 20, 2018
Abbas Burning All Bridges, Shooting in All Directions – Khaled Abu Toameh
In a speech before Palestinian leaders in Ramallah on Monday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas set himself on a collision course with the U.S. and everyone else. Abbas is also said to be concerned about reports that the U.S. has been searching for “alternative” Palestinian officials who would accept President Trump’s yet-to-be-announced peace plan. Abbas feels that some Arab countries, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are in collusion with the U.S. to “impose” the peace plan on the Palestinians.
Abbas believes the U.S. “conspiracy” against the Palestinians began long before Trump entered the White House. According to the PA president, the Americans facilitated the Hamas “coup” against the Palestinian Authority in Gaza in 2007 and even orchestrated the 2010 Arab Spring across the Middle East. In other words, Abbas sees the U.S. as being in cahoots with Islamists.
Abbas also lashed out on Monday at the Americans and Egyptians for “inventing” the “reconciliation” deal between Fatah and Hamas. His harsh rhetoric may be interpreted by some Palestinians as a “green light” for a new uprising. (Times of Israel)
War of Words Heats Up between Trump Administration, Palestinian Leadership – Noga Tarnopolsky
Speaking at an Israel Foreign Ministry “Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism” on Monday, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said, “Three young Israelis were murdered over the weekend, in cold blood, by Palestinian terrorists, and the reaction from the Palestinian Authority was deafening. No condemnation. I saw his [Abbas’] response on my iPhone. His response was to refer to me as ‘son of a dog.’ Is that anti-Semitism or political discourse? I leave that up to you.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also reacted to Abbas’ remarks. “[Abbas’] attack on the U.S. ambassador, David Friedman, says it all. For the first time in decades, the American administration has stopped pampering the Palestinian leaders and tells them, ‘That’s it.’ Apparently the shock of the truth has caused them to lose their cool.” (Los Angeles Times)
Greenblatt: Abbas Must Choose between “Hateful Rhetoric” and Peace
After Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman as the “son of a dog,” American Middle East peace negotiator Jason Greenblatt said Monday, “The time has come for President Abbas to choose between hateful rhetoric and concrete and practical efforts to improve the quality of life of his people and lead them to peace and prosperity.”
“Notwithstanding his highly inappropriate insults against members of the Trump administration, the latest iteration being his insult of my good friend and colleague Ambassador Friedman, we are committed to the Palestinian people and to the changes that must be implemented for peaceful coexistence.” (JTA)
See also State Department: Abbas’ Comments “Outrageous and Unhelpful”
State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said Tuesday on Twitter, “We echo Jason Greenblatt’s statement. President Abbas’ comments were outrageous & unhelpful. We urge the Palestinian Authority to focus on improving the lives of the Palestinian people & advancing the cause of peace.” (State Department)