“An unprecedented attack on a US official by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas” says Dan Diker, Director of the Political Warfare Project at the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs on Abbas’ curse of the US Ambassador to Israel.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas called US ambassador David Friedman a “Son of a dog”. pic.twitter.com/zGJ0QUYoBC
— BDS Unmasked 🇮🇱 (@DanDiker84) March 21, 2018
Diker says that “the last time that type of sewer language was used in the Middle East was back in 1995 in Egypt.” “Egyptian President Mubarak called Yassar Arafat ‘son of a dog’ for not signing the maps of the Oslo interim agreement.” Diker says that this “shows us how serious that type of language is in Arab culture.” He explains that this is “about as low as you can get.”
“Ambassador Friedman’s very appropriate response that it was an anti-semitic comment and not a political disagreement, was very appropriate.” He then continues with the question of “whether the United States will cut off contact with the Palestinian Authority?” Considering that the United States is the PA’s best financial friend, giving them millions of dollars per year, this whole situation of cursing a US representative is unprecedented.
Diker continues “we think that Mahmoud Abbas knows exactly what he is doing. Abbas is cornered. Abbas does not see any way forward for himself. He is being ignored by the Arab world. His own people don’t consider him relevant. Hamas is bringing down his neck calling him the “Mayor of Muqata”, which is his little headquarters inside Ramallah. So Abbas knows that he is finished and he is feeling the heat. And when he feels the heat, he bites in all directions.”
Ambassador Friedman Responds
This all began on Monday when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman “a son of a dog”, with Ambassador Friedman responding with a question: “Antisemitism or political discourse? Not for me to judge, I will leave that up to you.”
The US administration “has said that settlement building is legitimate,” Abbas said. “That’s what several American officials have said including, first and foremost, their ambassador in Tel Aviv, David Friedman. He said [settlers] are building on their land. Son of a dog, they are building in their land? He is a settler and his family members are settlers.”
The Trump Administration Responds
Jason Greenblatt, President Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East gave a more official response from the administration.
“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,” Greenblatt said in response to Abbas speech.
“Notwithstanding his highly inappropriate insults against members of the Trump administration… The latest iteration….his insult of my good friend and colleague Ambassador David Friedman. We are committed to the Palestinian people and to the changes that must be implemented for peaceful coexistence.
The State Department spokesperson also chimed in on Abbas’ cursing of the US Ambassador to Israel with a Tweet:
We echo @jdgreenblatt45’s statement. President Abbas’s comments were outrageous & unhelpful. We urge the Palestinian Authority to focus on improving the lives of the Palestinian people & advancing the cause of peace. The Administration remains fully committed to those goals. https://t.co/MnbfJrQUp2
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) March 19, 2018