Diplomacy

U.S. Blasts Abbas for Insulting Ambassador to Israel, Tells Him to Advance “Cause of Peace”

The United States responded to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calling U.S. Ambassador to Israel a “son of a dog,” and told the Palestinian leader that his people would be better-served if he worked on “improving the lives of the Palestinian people and advancing the cause of peace,” The Times of Israel reported Tuesday.

On Monday, Abbas responded to criticism from U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman for failing to condemn two deadly terror attacks over the weekend by calling Friedman “son of a dog.”

“[The US administration] has said that settlement building is legitimate. That’s what several American officials have said including, first and foremost, their ambassador in Tel Aviv David Friedman. He said [settlers] are building in their land. Son of a dog, they are building in their land? He is a settler and his family members are settlers,” Abbas said , as he addressed a meeting of the PA’s leadership in Ramallah.

“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,” Jason Greenblatt, the administration’s top envoy for negotiations, said in a statement responding to Abbas.

“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,” Greenblatt continued. “We are finalizing our plan for peace and we will advance it when circumstances are right.”

“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,” he went on. “We are finalizing our plan for peace and we will advance it when circumstances are right.”

U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert reinforced Greenblatt’s criticism. “President Abbas’s comments were outrageous and unhelpful,” Nauert said. “We urge the Palestinian Authority to focus its efforts on improving the lives of the Palestinian people and advancing the cause of peace. The administration remains fully committed to those goals.”

While Abbas had harsh words for Friedman who criticized his failure to condemn terror, last week, Ynet reported, the Palestinian leader “warmly” greeted Rajaei Haddad following Haddad’s release from an Israeli prison after serving 20 years for his participation in the murder of Gabriel Hirschberg in 1997.

[Photo: AFP / YouTube]