Abbas boasts of belittling U.S. Secretary of State at UN: report

Abbas to Palestinian Americans: “I told Blinken, ‘You little boy, don’t do that.'”

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

During a visit to the U.S. last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told a group of Palestinian Americans that he admonished Secretary of State Antony Blinken for not pressuring Israel to make peace concessions, the Times of Israel reported on Friday.

Abbas has not refrained from expressing frustrations with Washington in the past, but his latest remarks “appeared to go further and included the belittling of the United States’s top diplomat,” according to the Times.

The Times obtained a recording of Abbas’ comments to a private gathering of Palestinians living in the U.S.

The Sept. 22 meeting took place in New York on the sidelines of the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly, which both Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid addressed.

According to the Times, some details of the meeting were first reported by the Haya Washington Arabic news site.

Abbas, speaking in Arabic, first described to the Palestinians his frustration with what he called a pattern of American behavior in which he claimed U.S. officials say Israel is not interested in peace but refuse to pressure Israel.

The Palestinian chief then described a phone call with Blinken which he claimed the Secretary of State continued that refusal to press Israel.

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“I told Blinken, ‘You little boy, don’t do that,’” Abbas told the Palestinian Americans, according to the Times.

Abbas then described to Blinken how President Dwight Eisenhower pressed Israel to quickly withdraw from the Gaza Strip after the Suez Crisis of 1956.

“I know your history,” Abbas said he told Blinken, describing a series of calls between Eisenhower and Prime Minister David Ben Gurion.

According to Abbas, in one of those conversations, Eisenhower told Ben Gurion point blank, “David, have you gotten out of [Gaza]? Tonight, you’ll withdraw and you’ll tell me yourself that you’ve done so.’”

Abbas then told the gathering, “Ben Gurion wrote in his memoirs that he withdrew that same night.”

Abbas said the lesson from this in dealing with Israel is that the U.S. has the power to use the “red phone” to press Israel into changing its policies.

However, Abbas added that he doesn’t believe the U.S. is genuinely interested in Mideast peace. “It’s not that the Israelis don’t want peace but the Americans don’t want peace,” the Palestinian leader stressed to the gathering.

Asked for a response, a State Department official told the Times that Blinken “has maintained a respectful dialogue with President Abbas. Beyond that, we’ll decline to comment on the content of their conversations.”

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The Times added that a separate source familiar with the issue said that “This is not an accurate characterization of their discussions.”